Comments on: Why the U.S. must lead on Disabilities Treaty http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/11/05/why-the-u-s-must-lead-on-disabilities-treaty/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: WendyWright http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/11/05/why-the-u-s-must-lead-on-disabilities-treaty/#comment-78300 Fri, 22 Nov 2013 20:50:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=25630#comment-78300 Other countries already follow the US as a role model for disability rights – they’ve said so at the UN. And that’s even without the U.S. ratifying the treaty. Ratifying the Disabilities treaty would simply make the U.S. on par with other countries, subject to the UN committee that oversees implementation.

Other countries do need to improve their services and laws to help people with disabilities. But other countries won’t do this, nor will they obey treaties, just because the U.S. ratifies a treaty. Saudi Arabia, Kenya or even France are not going to build ramps or provide services for deaf patients simply because the U.S. ratifies a UN treaty.

U.S. officials would be better off spending their energy working directly with other countries to upgrade legislation and resources for people with disabilities, rather than answering to a UN committee.

Since the last time the Senate considered the Disability treaty, the UN committee that monitors compliance has pressured two countries (Spain and Hungary) to change their laws in a way that, to comply would legalize late-term abortions.

While Americans don’t believe we would be susceptible to international pressure, one of the main arguments by U.S. diplomats for ratifying the Disability treaty is because they are “embarrassed” when other countries bring it up. They should be using those opportunities to recount all that the U.S. is does, rather than letting countries with poor records on disability rights make a UN treaty the gold standard.

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