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 McCainEx-Bush aide Nicolle Wallace to host MSNBC show Meghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' Top commander: Don't bet on China reining in North Korea 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 DurbinLawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Democrats exploring lawsuit against Trump Senators warn of 'dangerous' cuts to International Affairs Budget MORE (D-Ill.), Jerry MoranJerry MoranIT modernization bill reintroduced in Congress At the table: The importance of advocating for ABLE GOP lawmakers lead way in holding town halls 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 BarrassoTrump shouldn’t cater to a tech industry that hates him Poll: Sanders most popular senator in the US The animal advocate MORE (R-Wyo.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsA Vandenberg movement in Congress Senate approves Trump's Agriculture chief How Gorsuch's confirmation shapes the next Supreme Court battle MORE (D-Del.) and Tom UdallTom UdallIT modernization bill reintroduced in Congress Overnight Energy: Trump orders review of national monuments, claiming ‘egregious abuse’ Dem vows to fight Trump 'every step of the way' on national monuments 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."