Senators back UN disability rights treaty

A bipartisan group of senators said the United States must fully endorse a United Nations convention on rights for the disabled, noting the challenges many wounded veterans face while traveling abroad. 

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) prescribes actions for states that want to "ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights … for all persons with disabilities without discrimination." 

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The U.S. government has signed but not ratified the treaty, which now requires Senate approval. It contains detailed policy objectives, though a release said that ratification would require "no changes to U.S. laws or new appropriations." 

"I have long advocated on behalf of equal access and non-discrimination for all Americans, including our veterans and today’s disabled soldiers returning home from serving their nation in war," Sen. John McCainJohn McCainBottom Line Beyond Manafort: Both parties deal with pro-Russian Ukrainians With help from US, transformative change in Iran is within reach MORE (R-Ariz.) said in a statement. 

"I support U.S. ratification of the disability treaty, as it seeks to advance these same fundamental values of equality and human dignity around the world." 

The CRPD takes cues from the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, which enacted vast protections for the disabled against discrimination in employment, public accommodations and other areas. 

The convention currently has 112 ratifications and 153 signatories, according to the UN. 

Senators taking part in Friday's announcement were: McCain, Dick DurbinDick DurbinTop Trump officials push border wall as government shutdown looms Top Dem: Shutdown over border wall would be 'height of irresponsibility' Sunday shows preview: Trump stares down 100-day mark MORE (D-Ill.), Jerry MoranJerry MoranAt the table: The importance of advocating for ABLE GOP lawmakers lead way in holding town halls Yahoo reveals new details about security MORE (R-Kan.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (D-Iowa), John BarrassoJohn BarrassoPoll: Sanders most popular senator in the US The animal advocate Trump climate move risks unraveling Paris commitments MORE (R-Wyo.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsSenate approves Trump's Agriculture chief How Gorsuch's confirmation shapes the next Supreme Court battle Coons: ‘Exactly the wrong time’ for State Dept cuts MORE (D-Del.) and Tom UdallTom UdallSenate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs Dem senator: Congress should force White House to publish visitor logs Senate Dems offer bill to restore internet privacy rules MORE (D-N.M.) 

 “The United States is a leader in advocating for the empowerment of disabled Americans, including our veterans who have returned home with life-changing injuries," said Udall said. 

"This treaty is an important tool to improve conditions for citizens living and working abroad and ensures that we remain a beacon for fairness and opportunity around the world."