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Thoughts on The Importance of Ratifying the CRPD

  • Synopsis: Published: 2011-08-02 (Revised/Updated 2014-05-02) - The CRPD is the first human rights convention of the 21st century and addresses disability rights on a world-wide scale - Wendy Taormina-Weiss (Disabled World).

Main Document

Quote: "The Republican leaders of America pursued these cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits without regard to the exploitation and incredible potential for abuse and even deaths of People with Disabilities, Seniors, and Veterans they were promoting."

The United States of America signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on July 30th of the year 2009; it is now the year 2011.

There are very few nations on the UN Enable map who have yet to ratify the Convention, most notably Russia and America. The CRPD is the first human rights convention of the 21st century and addresses disability rights on a world-wide scale. The Convention seeks to promote, protect, and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities.

There are a number of principles and Articles within the CRPD that are extremely important to people with disabilities. These principles and Articles address rights such as our ability to live independently, freedom from exploitation and violence, the right to an adequate standard of living, social protections and more. At this point in America's history, the protections presented through the Convention are essential, making ratification of the CRPD absolutely vital to people with disabilities in the United States.

Article 28: Adequate Standard of Living and Social Protection

An adequate standard of living involves not only a home, food to eat, clothing, and health care. An adequate standard of living involves living free from poverty. In America, many people with disabilities struggle every single day to pay bills, pay rent, and buy food. Many people with disabilities find themselves having to choose between paying for a prescription co-pay, buying something to eat, or paying for transportation.


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An adequate standard of living does not mean that people with disabilities should all have the right to have a new Maserati and a mansion on the lake. It does; however, mean that we should not have to make financial or other life decisions such as those mentioned. As long as the conditions described continue to exist, America has not established an adequate standard of living for people with disabilities.

Article 19: Living Independently and Being Included in the Community

At this time in America, the Community Choice Act has not been passed. What this means to a great many people with disabilities, as well as to many others who will become people with disabilities every single year, is that they will be forced into institutions instead of having the opportunity to receive care in their own homes. Clearly, this does not comprise either independent living or inclusion within the person's own community. For people with disabilities who are already in institutions such as long-term care facilities who would rather be living in their own homes, Article 19 of the CRPD means everything.

People with disabilities in many cases would like to work, as well as participate in their own communities. They would like to live in their own homes, and have the opportunity to interact with others. In America today, a lack of transportation, employment opportunities, as well as a number of social stigmas and biases keep many people with disabilities isolated from the rest of society.

Article 16: Freedom from Exploitation, Violence and Abuse

Very recently in America, a debate over the deficit and debt has been pursued by both the Republicans and the Democrats in Washington D.C. The debate found the Republicans actually promoting cuts to the social support programs Social Security, Medicare, as well as the benefits of Veterans with Disabilities. The Republicans were using these programs as, 'bargaining chips,' and therefore were exploiting People with Disabilities, Seniors, and Veterans with Disabilities - despite the fact that America has signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The Democratic Party managed to save these programs from the Republicans, but apparently only for a period of time. The Republicans were indeed exploiting the populations of People with Disabilities, Seniors, and Veterans with Disabilities without regard to the CRPD. Had the Republicans succeeded in achieving the destruction of Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits, the resulting disaster would have found millions of people experiencing living conditions that are unimaginable, in many cases. Many would have become homeless. People could very well have died because they could not pay for needed medical supplies that keep them alive. These things may still come to pass.

The Republican leaders of America pursued these cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits without regard to the exploitation and incredible potential for abuse and even deaths of People with Disabilities, Seniors, and Veterans they were promoting. Clearly, their actions are a violation of the very principles of Article 16 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As People with Disabilities, Seniors, and Veterans we simply cannot afford to forget the actions of the America's leadership during the next election.

Additional Articles and principles within the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities include the following. These Articles and principles are incredibly important to us as People with Disabilities:

Principles:

  • Accessibility
  • Non-Discrimination
  • Full Inclusion in Society
  • Equality of Opportunity
  • Independence of Persons
  • Respect for Inherent Dignity
  • Full and Effective Participation
  • Equality between Men and Women

Articles:

  • Article 27: Work and Employment
  • Article 23: Respect for Home and the Family
  • Article 30: Participation in Cultural Life, Recreation, Leisure and Sport
  • Article 21: Freedom of Expression and Opinion, and Access to Information

The leaders of this nation have no concept whatsoever of the level of trauma; sheer trauma they have inflicted on people with disabilities in America.

It makes me shudder when I think of people with disabilities, such as those with intellectual disabilities, who may have been watching this debt debate unfold before them while sitting there frightened they were going to become homeless, starve, or go without needed health care.

From what I can tell, the leadership's attempts to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits were efforts that violated every single one of the principles and Articles mentioned in not only this particular article, but in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that America has signed. The fact that Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits are even a subject of debate is completely unacceptable. With no personal authority whatsoever, it is my greatest hope that UN Enable is watching this horrendous violation of People with Disabilities, Seniors, and Veterans with Disabilities in America today.

Related Information:

  1. EU: A Commitment to Disability Rights
  2. Disability Rights Struggles - Success and Current Challenges
  3. Disability Rights Promotion International - A Human Rights Perspective


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