The Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities–United States and Guatemala

The United Nations Convention for Persons with Disabilities  (CRPD) is the first international treaty to address disability rights globally.    The CRPD outlines countries’ responsibilities to promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities.

David Morissey, Director of the United States International Council on Disability, defines The Convention as “the intersection of disability and human rights, necessary for protecting the rights of the world’s most vulnerable.” As of May 2012, the Convention has 153 signatories and 112 ratifications. Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, and many countries in Europe have ratified the Convention

What’s going on in the United States?

How might the Convention be used to protect people with disabilities in the United States? The United States has already established strong support for the rights of people with disabilities through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but the CRPD ratification and subsequent implementation would protect the rights of Americans disabilities living and traveling abroad, and address the essential rights of people with disabilities from a global rather than domestic perspective.

July 30 – August 2, 2012

The CRPD will move to the full Senate floor. The CRPD needs a 2/3 vote to be ratified. The United States Disability community is urging people to show their support of the treaty so that the CRPD will get time on the Senate floor before the recess begins on August 3rd. Disability advocates urge people to call, email, and visit their Senate offices, Tweet #CRPD, and send Facebook messages that proclaim support for the CRPD.

July 26, 2012

On the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,  the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman John Kerry passed a resolution of advice and consent to the CRPD.  The resolution was amended and passed with a bi-partisan vote of 13 to 6.

July 12, 2012   Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing

You can watch the hearing, which begins at 9 am EST live at the US Senate by clicking on this link.  In the United States, support of the CRPD is needed to bring about its ratification.

The United States International Council on Disability has a form letter available for individuals and organizations to sign to show that Americans support the CRDP’s ratification. The link to the form letter is available here.

May 2012  Consideration for Ratification

U.S. ratification of the Convention requires a “resolution of ratification,” which means 2/3 support or a 67 supermajority vote is needed in Senate. In May, the Obama Administration transmitted the CRPD to the Senate for consideration of ratification.

 July 30, 2009 Signing

The United States signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

What’s going on in Guatemala?

April 2009 Ratification

After ratification, the  Guatemala Government  designated the National Council for the Care of Persons with Disabilities (CONADI) as the government agency responsible for addressing issues relating to CRPD compliance and implementation. Although ratified, the CRPD is not yet implemented.

March 2007 Signing

The CRPD was signed into law.

Source Notes

1. (2012). The United States International Council on Disability. “The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

2. (2012). The United States International Council on Disability. “CRPD Education and Advocacy.”

3. (2012).  Transitions Foundation of Guatemala. “Need.”

4. (2012).  United Nations Enable. “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

5. (2006). Disabled Peoples’ International. “Implementation Toolkit.”


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