On Tuesday the United States Senate will once again be considering the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As with any treaty, 2/3rds of the Senate are required for passage.
I am hoping they will vote against the Convention.
As I wrote in July, there are articles within this Convention that are noble and worthwhile, like article 10:
States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
Unfortunately, the United Nations as a body cannot be trusted to enforce language like that, especially for unborn human beings with disabilities.
As recently as this past September, the Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization committed to expanding abortion around the world, submitted a scathing letter to the United Nations Human Rights Committee against the Philippines position on restricting abortion, using the Human Rights Committee’s own rulings. In fact, they documented that the Human Rights Committee found that one instance of a girl being ‘forced’ to bear her child with a fetal anomaly constituted “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.” The Human Rights Committee also found that Peru violated a “right to privacy” when abortion was not easily accessible for reasons of fetal anomaly. There is no evidence to show the United Nations would proactively support the rights of unborn children with disabilities in any instance.
The list of nations who have signed the Convention is also troubling. Chen Guangcheng, who fled China after years of house arrest for seeking to protect women from forced abortions, recently released this devastating video on human rights violations in China. Yet China is one of the proud signatories of the Convention, along with Mali and Iran among others.
The United Nations simply does not have the moral standing to justify the trust of the United States people on this Convention.
Further, the arguments in favor of the Convention make no sense:
- For the sake of US global leadership on this issue. The United States is already a global leader on issues of disability with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Signing the Convention does not impact the United States’ standing on this issue at all, and may even weaken it as it brings the United States under another sovereign body.
- For the sake of Americans living and traveling in other nations. As stated above, the United Nations has accepted the ratification from nations that routinely violate human rights. The United States is in a better position to protect the rights and safety of American citizens than is the United Nations.
- For sake of a level playing field for US business/investment interests. Is there even one example where the United Nations has played such a role?
Some even argue that it doesn’t actually obligate the United States to do anything. The United Nations’ own website on the Convention clearly states that it does create obligations for states that ratify this treaty.
To be sure, the United States does not have a great record with regards to disability. The abortion rate is sickeningly high and our culture routinely denigrates people with disabilities. However, the Convention would address neither as the United Nations cares nothing about the former and can do nothing about the latter.
Pray it doesn’t pass the United States Senate. And contact your senators to express your view. You can do so through the United States Senate website.