Ask Congress to ratify disability rights treaty

 

ACTION ALERT — No Time For Fence Sitting:

USA Senate May Vote on Major Disability Treaty.

Tell Your US Senators to Ratify “CRPD” Today!

by David W. Oaks, Executive Director
MindFreedom International

Just five days ago, on July 26th, the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the first step in the process to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the USA succeeded.

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a mark-up hearing and voted the treaty out of committee by a 13 to 6 count.

CRPD is out of the hands of the lawyers. Now it’s time for the grassroots in our democracy — the 99 percent — to get hands on with the process! Everyone in the USA can help bring the CRPD to the floor for a full vote by the members of the US Senate within the next few days.

Celia Brown, MindFreedom President, told me today, “I worked very hard inside the United Nations with other MindFreedom International members for human rights and against discrimination. Hopefully we’ll be able to ratify the CRPD in the USA!”

The CRPD is entering its final stage for a full floor vote in the Senate. There is still time for floor action before the August recess (which starts on August 3), so act soon. But no matter what… contact your Senator!

The treaty needs at least 67 Senators to vote “aye” in order for it to be ratified.

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ACTION * ACTION * ACTION

Call your Senators and tell them to support bringing the treaty to the floor for vote, and to vote in favor of the treaty once this happens.

ACT NOW:

Find your Senator contact info to call, email or both TODAY at:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
or use this link:
http://bit.ly/us-senator

Or phone Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Identify yourself as a constituent and urge your Senators:

“Please bring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to the floor immediately and support the ratification of the treaty!”

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ADDITIONAL ACTIONS — PLEASE FORWARD THIS!

With just days before the August recess, ask your family, friends, co-workers, and other community members to call!

Activate EVERYONE to call, email, and visit your Senate offices!

Tweet #CRPD and Facebook messages of support!

Updates and info at:
http://www.usicd.org

UN info on CRPD here:
http://www.un.org/disabilities

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ADDITIONAL INFO:

The US National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) put it this way:

“The CRPD is a non-discrimination treaty seeking to achieve the same goals as the ADA and other existing disability laws in the United States: to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, inclusion, and integration into all aspects of society. The CRPD is important to all people with disabilities because it embodies equal treatment and non-discrimination in access to employment, educational, and housing opportunities.”

As well as being a psychiatric survivor director of MindFreedom International, I also serve on the board of the United States International Council on Disability (USICD), which has been a leading group in unifying the USA disability movement for passage of CRPD.

I’ve found USICD leaders such as Eric Rosenthal, Marca Bristo and David Morrissey, and others, to be positive, passionate, and principled allies for the psychiatric survivor movement. Thank you all! Let’s be powerful allies for USICD and the entire cross-disability movement today, in the spirit of Justin Dart, Jr., and push for passage of CRPD, today!

There is opposition to our human rights. Some misguided US Senators have added an amendment at the last minute — over the wishes of the disability and psychiatric survivor movement — that may weaken this treaty in the USA. Of course, MFI is against any amendments, period. However, this current amendment, called a ‘declaration,’ does not rise to the level of a ‘deal breaker’ so everyone still ought to still push for the CRPD.

Of course there might be a point where an amendment — called Reservation Understanding or Declaration [RUD] — could become a ‘deal breaker.’ MFI is monitoring that, and if this happened, MFI would withdraw support. But we need to support CRPD. Or not. This historic moment is no time for fence-sitting.

Your PEOPLE POWER can help win this in the USA! Act now!

Lead on!

David W. Oaks, Executive Director, MindFreedom International

 

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