The United States government has started to hold meetings to "listen" to the disability community positions about how the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities should be implemented, and whether any reservations, understandings or declarations ("RUDs") should be attached to the U.S. ratification of this treaty.
CHRUSP attended a the first such meeting yesterday, November 9, 2009, where several individuals spoke against RUDs that would violate the spirit of the treaty, and urged the government to ratify first and work towards full implementation, especially where state laws will need to be changed.
Parallel to the CRPD ratification process, CHRUSP has joined the Campaign for a New Domestic Human Rights Agenda, which is aimed at creating new ways for the U.S. to work on implementation of its human rights obligations. In particular, the Campaign's proposals to re-constitute and expand the federal Inter-Agency Working Group on Human Rights, and to enact legislation that would convert the U.S. Civil Rights Commission into a U.S. Civil and Human Rights Commission, support the idea of treating CRPD implementation as a process, rather than a prerequisite to ratification. Although this departs from the traditional U.S. posture on treaty ratification, it is more realistic and more conducive to active involvement by the public as well as the government in securing human rights for all.
Today, December 10, 2009, CHRUSP has issued a statement for International Human Rights Day, in which we call for universal ratification and implementation of the CRPD, including by the United States, and support the proposals of the Campaign for a New Human Rights Agenda. We hope that all users and survivors of psychiatry and other people of good will, will participate in building a human rights culture everywhere, and invite you to join us for the teleconference on the CRPD next week, Dec.17 at 12 noon.