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Talking Points: United Nation’s CRPD Treaty

By September 25, 2012LAC Hot Topics/Alerts
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Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a treaty that undermines U.S. sovereignty. Despite its name, it does little to advance the needs of people with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will surrender American power into the hands of a foreign entity.


  • Americans with disabilities are already protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.
  • America is already the leading example for the world, providing freedom and justice for persons with disabilities.
  • Advocates of the Treaty argue that if the U.S. signs on it will send a strong message to other countries to do the same.
  • Those opposed to the Treaty understand the error of signing onto a Treaty where U.S. power is emasculated.


  • In 2006, CRPD was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly.
  • The Treaty was signed by President Obama on July 30, 2009.
  • President Obama submitted the CRPD to the Senate for ratification on May 18, 2012.

Concerns with the Treaty:

  • The U.S. should not become party to a Treaty where an unelected, unaccountable committee determines whether our laws meet provisions laid out within the contract. (Article 34)
  • If the committee decides the U.S. does not meet the qualifications, America would be expected to follow issued “recommendations” made. (Article 36)
  • The Treaty deems the term “disability” as an evolving concept and not one that is clearly defined. (Article 2)
  • This is the first time in any hard law that a U.N. document included the controversial phrase “sexual and reproductive health.” (Article 25(a))
  • CRPD will take away parents’ rights to be the ultimate decision makers for their children. (Article 7) Parents know what is in the best interest of their children, not the government or the United Nations.
  • An unelected, unaccountable committee will determine what is “accountable,” even when dealing with reservations that may be made by the U.S. (Article 46)

Bottom Line:

  • Americans should be the ones making laws for America.
  • Under the U.S. Constitution in Article VI, the Supremacy Clause would allow CRPD to be the supreme law of the land if ratified.
  • America has federal and state laws that protect people with disabilities. It is unnecessary for the U.S. to become entangled in a treaty to simply be a beacon for other countries.