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 McCainMcCain's reset: US-Vietnam relations going strong after 25 years Senate outlook slides for GOP Juan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden 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 DurbinGOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats MORE (D-Ill.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' probe report Senate Democrats push federal agencies to combat coronavirus scams and robocalls MORE (R-Kan.), Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinErnst challenges Greenfield to six debates in Iowa Senate race Biden unveils disability rights plan: 'Your voices must be heard' Bottom line MORE (D-Iowa), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSunday shows preview: Coronavirus poses questions about school safety; Trump commutes Roger Stone sentence Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Court upholds protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears MORE (R-Wyo.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources MORE (D-Del.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallHispanic Democrats build capital with big primary wins Senate rejects Paul proposal on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 | Commerce Department led 'flawed process' on Sharpiegate, watchdog finds | EPA to end policy suspending pollution monitoring by end of summer 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."