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 Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress 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 DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats turn on Al Franken Minnesota's largest newspaper calls on Franken to resign Democratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday MORE (D-Ill.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMcConnell works to salvage tax bill GOP in furious push for tax-reform votes Overnight Tech: Lawmakers want answers on Uber breach | Justices divided in patent case | Tech makes plea for net neutrality on Cyber Monday MORE (R-Kan.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinDemocrats are all talk when it comes to DC statehood The Hill's 12:30 Report Distance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday MORE (D-Iowa), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoScalise: House, Senate ‘pretty close’ on tax bill Top GOP senator: House and Senate 'not that far apart' on tax bill Sunday shows preview: Republicans take victory lap on taxes MORE (R-Wyo.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate ethics panel wants details on sexual harassment allegations American innovation depends on strengthening patents Tax reform and innovation – good news and a cloud MORE (D-Del.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Dem senator slams Trump's 'moral authority' after 'Pocahontas' remark Overnight Cybersecurity: Kushner was contacted about WikiLeaks before election | Tech experts blast Trump's 'extreme vetting' plan | Senate passes defense bill with measure to modernize feds' IT 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."