"So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
~ Christopher Reeve

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our American Friends

South of the border the debate continues on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Is it good? Or is it bad?
Despite bipartisan support for a United Nations disability rights treaty, a group of Republican lawmakers is holding up U.S. Senate consideration of the matter.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee planned to consider the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last week, but was unable to after Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and a number of other Republicans reportedly placed a hold on it.

The move effectively squashed efforts by supporters of the treaty to get the U.S. to ratify it before the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Thursday.

While the U.S. initially signed the U.N. Convention in 2009, Senate approval is needed for ratification of the treaty, which calls for greater community access and a better standard of living for people with disabilities worldwide.
Why, you ask?

Why would any part of the American government be reluctant to ratify an international convention recognizing the rights of person with disabilities? Rights which surely must be recognized and held in high esteem in such a great democracy as the US, a shining city uppon a hill?

For the very same reason that the US is hesitant (or outright refuses) to ratify other international conventions, of course.
The delay comes amid opposition from the Home School Legal Defense Association which is urging its members to tell Congress that the treaty “surrenders U.S. sovereignty to unelected U.N. bureaucrats, and will threaten parental control over children with disabilities.”

In a statement to the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, a DeMint spokesman said he wanted to delay the treaty over largely similar concerns..
That's right, folks. It just wouldn't do to have anyone else telling them what to do to or [gasp] interfere with their sovereignty.

Although I have to wonder just how well that is working for them.
The failure of the US to join with other nations in taking on international human rights legal obligations has undercut its international leadership on key issues, limiting its influence, its stature, and its credibility in promoting respect for human rights around the world.
And I must admit, I do find this thinking somewhat puzzling.
Sen. DeMint strongly opposes this treaty, as the United States is already the world leader in addressing the needs of the disabled and it’s foolish to think Americans need to sign away our sovereignty to exert our influence around the world.
So let me get this straight ... because the US is the world leader in addressing the needs of the disabled (I wonder what their own people have to say in that regard?) and they can/will continue to exert their influence around the world (now, here is where I get lost ... are they referring to their influence with regard to recognizing the rights of persons with disabilities?) because naturally they will have so much more moral clout around the issue given that they refuse to sign the Convention?

I must say that I find it particularly strange that the HSLDA is such a vocal opponent. Perhaps they are concerned that constitutionally enshrining "the right of persons with disabilities to education" [Art. 24] will somehow interfere with a parent's right to "direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms."

Oh, wait, now I get it.
There is no doubt that the Obama administration is waiting to see how they do on this convention to push through an entire package of UN treaties—chiefly the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, CEDAW (the women’s treaty), and the small arms treaty.
The poor souls are afraid. Afraid, I tell ya.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is
added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
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MMC said...

Sorry, I've never encountered that issue before and don't think I can help. Sounds like a glitch with blogger (blogspot) ... There doesn't tend to be a lot of comments on the blawg so I wouldn't think you would be getting that many (putting aside the duplicate issue) but you should only get them on whatever post you first commented on. What post was that?

My only suggestion would be to mark anything from that address as junk so it goes straight to your junk mail folder. But if you signed up for the RRS feed,that would not a very useful plan. Sorry, can't really help. But please do keep coming back.