August 5, 2014

Take Action Against UN Disabilities Treaty during August Recess!

J. Michael Smith
President of HSLDA


J. Michael Smith is president of HSLDA. He has been an advocate for homeschooling for more than 30 years. Read more >>

Last Friday, the U.S. Senate left for the August recess. They will not return until Monday, September 8.

We know that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is going to return. On July 22, a divided Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-6 to send the treaty to the full Senate for a vote.

Your two senators need to hear from you. They need to know that you will never allow the “best interests of the child standard” to override the care provided to children with disabilities by loving parents. They need to know that you will never accept a national government registry of all children with disabilities. They need to know that you will never permit United Nations bureaucrats to supervise our nation’s sovereign responsibility to protect the freedom of people with disabilities. The CRPD does all of this and more. It must be rejected.

This August recess is a great opportunity to discuss this critical issue with your senators. Here is how you can do this.

  1. Call your senators and ask for a time to meet with them or their staff about the CRPD at one of their district offices in your state. You can call their D.C. office through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for help with setting up a meeting, or find their contact info by typing in your address or state in our legislative toolbox. Please note, they have additional district offices which may not be listed on our legislative toolbox page.
  2. One or both of your senators will likely hold town hall meetings in your state. You can call your senators and ask when and where these will be held, or keep an eye out for any town hall meetings. These are great places to stand up and ask your senator to vote against the CRPD.
  3. Finally, please send a letter or email to your two senators and again ask them to oppose the CRPD. A physical letter is best, but you can also use HSLDA’s emailing tool to personalize and send a prewritten email to your senators by filling out your information here.

Your message to your senators can be as simple as the following:

“I urge you to oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This treaty surrenders U.S. sovereignty to unelected UN bureaucrats and will threaten parental care of children with disabilities. Our nation already has laws to protect Americans with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will hurt families by giving bureaucrats the power to decide what is in the best interests of a child with disabilities, not the child’s parents.”

Some senators may argue that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee added reservations, understandings, and declarations (“RUDs”) to the CRPD, including one which attempts to say that the treaty will not affect homeschooling. Not only did the Foreign Relations Committee reject several excellent RUDs offered by conservative senators, but RUDs themselves are considered to be weaker than treaty language under international law, as our recent analysis shows. Do we dare to trust our God-given right to direct the education and upbringing of our children to these RUDs?

Other senators may argue that the treaty is only a statement of support for people with disabilities, and will not change U.S. law. They forget that Article VI of the U.S. Constitution says treaties that are ratified by the Senate “shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” The U.S. already is the world leader in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities—we don't need to ratify a UN treaty to remain the leader.

To find out more about the CRPD or print out materials for your visit with your senators, please click here. To read the text of the CRPD, please click here. We also encourage you to watch a powerful speech by Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) that he gave on the Senate floor on July 23. Our federal relations team is also happy to help answer any questions you may have, or prepare you for a meeting. You can reach us at federalrelations@hslda.org or 540-338-5600. Thank you for joining us in this battle to protect our children and our children’s future. You defeated this treaty in 2012. Standing together, we can defeat this treaty once again.

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