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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Schedules Vote on Controversial UN Treaty
Committee Vote on Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Scheduled for Tuesday, July 22
 
Contact: Michael Farris, Jr., Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), 540-338-5600, mfarrisjr@hslda.org
 
PURCELLVILLE, Va., July 21, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote this Tuesday on a treaty that will severely limit the freedoms of Americans if ratified. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has previously failed to garner enough support for ratification, most notably when the treaty fell six votes short in December 2012. Supporters of the treaty, however, feel that this time they have enough votes to ratify the treaty.
 
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) opposes the UNCRPD because if it is ratified by the Senate, government officials can override parents' decisions for their child with a disability using the "best interests of the child" clause within the treaty as their leverage. "We all want to show our support for people with disabilities," said Michael Farris, founder and chairman of HSLDA. "This treaty, however, is not the way to do it. This treaty will give United Nations and government agents, not parents who know their children better than any government agency could, the authority to decide all educational and treatment issues for disabled children. All of the rights that parents have under traditional American law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will be undermined by this treaty."
 
Proponents of the treaty claim it poses no danger because it can be amended with reservations, understandings, and declarations (RUDs), but Farris believes this argument is flawed. "The RUDs cannot change two central problems with the treaty," he said. "First, it will still violate the premise that America should make the law for Americans. We may modify the technical aspects of the treaty with RUDs, but we are still agreeing to be bound by the standards of the UN.
 
"Second, the promises made by proponents that U.S. ratification will help disabled Americans when they travel internationally is still an empty lie. The idea that U.S. ratification will change the legal duty of any other country to comply with this treaty is legally preposterous. Did the ratification by France change Canada's duties under the treaty? Did the ratification by Uganda secure rights for disabled Ugandans when they travel to Spain? Of course not. U.S. ratification only changes American law. No one has proven why American law needs to be changed to match UN standards." Farris also pointed out that if the CRPD is ratified, a case arguing the validity of RUDS could make its way before the U.S. Supreme Court , or the RUDS could be withdrawn by a future Senate.
 
Will Estrada, HSLDA's Federal Relations Director, believes the CRPD can be defeated by grassroots lobbying as it was in December 2012 and is urging those who oppose the treaty to call their senator if he or she is on the Foreign Relations Committee. "Americans are wising up to the truth of how dangerous this treaty is and how it puts their rights as parents in jeopardy," he said. "And major organizations that once supported the treaty are pulling their support, like AMVETS did last summer. If ratified, the CRPD will further empower unelected bureaucrats at the United Nations. I believe no American wants to see their freedoms taken away, especially by the UN."
 
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Visit us online at www.HSLDA.org