Even after a wheelchair delivered heartfelt plea from 89 year old, handicapped, former Senator Bob Dole, our U.S. senate rejected the UN treat to ban discrimination against people with disabilities. 

The reason given was that acceptance would “infringe on American sovereignity”.

The real reason is most likely that this acceptance would draw attention to our failure to ratify the International Rights of the Child Treaty and America would be required to quit training American 12 year old’s as soldiers like the rest of the world has.

America is the ONLY nation to not ratify the Rights of The Child Treaty (Somalia & Sudan don’t count because they do not have a functioning government).

The rest of the world’s nations agree that it is wrong to train children as young as 12 as soldiers.

For those of us who follow public policy as it pertains to American children, this is the single most damaging failure of ethics and public policy in America today.

Not only is it unholy, unethical, & cruel to doom children to early military training, it is a glaring disregard for the rest of world, and it solidly established that the U.S. will remain on war footing forever.

Bob Dole, one of the most hard-line Republicans in our nation has begged us to accept the Disabilities Treaty – what kind of hate filled, greed driven monster would refuse to ratify an international Disabilities Treaty identical to the one we wrote and ratified in the U.S. & demand the continuation of military training for America’s 12 year old’s?

Please pass this on to others, especially people in politics and media (we are better than this).



CSPAN2, via Associated Press

Former Senator Bob Dole, at right in a wheelchair, entered the Senate with his wife to support a United Nations disabilities treaty.

Published: December 4, 2012

WASHINGTON — Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas sat slightly slumped in his wheelchair on the Senate floor on Tuesday, staring intently as Senator John Kerry gave his most impassioned speech all year, in defense of a United Nations treaty that would ban discrimination against people with disabilities.

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Mr. Dole last March. A majority of his fellow Republicans voted against the treaty, citing concerns about sovereignty.

Senators from both parties went to greet Mr. Dole, leaning in to hear his wispy reply, as he sat in support of the treaty, which would require that people with disabilities have the same general rights as those without disabilities. Several members took the unusual step of voting aye while seated at their desks, out of respect for Mr. Dole, 89, a Republican who was the majority leader.

Then, after Mr. Dole’s wife, Elizabeth, rolled him off the floor, Republicans quietly voted down the treaty that the ailing Mr. Dole, recently released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, so longed to see passed.

A majority of Republicans who voted against the treaty, which was modeled on the Americans With Disabilities Act, said they feared that it would infringe on American sovereignty.

Among their fears about the disabilities convention were that it would codify standards enumerated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child — and therefore United Nations bureaucrats would be empowered to make decisions about the needs of disabled children — and that it could trump state laws concerning people with disabilities. Proponents of the bill said these concerns were unfounded.

The measure, which required two-thirds support for approval, failed on a vote of 61 to 38.

Mr. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, his voice rising as senator after senator moved slowly into the chamber, rejected the concerns of Republicans and made a moral argument for approval of the treaty.

Mr. Dole, he said, had not come to the Senate floor “to advocate for the United Nations.”

“He is here because he wants to know that other countries will come to treat the disabled as we do,” he added.

Approval of the treaty, Mr. Kerry said, would demonstrate that “what we do here in the United States Senate matters.” He added, “Don’t let Senator Bob Dole down.”

A handful of Republican senators voted for the measure, notably Senator John McCain of Arizona, in opposition to the other Arizona Republican, Senator Jon Kyl. The others who supported it were Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas praised the treaty in a news release with Mr. McCain in May but voted against it. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi voted yes at the beginning of the roll call vote and then switched his vote to no. Calls to the offices of Mr. Moran and Mr. Cochran were not returned.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said the measure would return to the Senate floor in the 113th Congress.

“It is a sad day when we cannot pass a treaty that simply brings the world up to the American standard for protecting people with disabilities because the Republican Party is in thrall to extremists and ideologues,” he said in a statement.

US ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United States has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but is one of only three UN members not to have ratified it (other non-ratifying members being Somaliaand South Sudan).[1][2]



[edit]History and status

The United States government played an active role in the drafting of the Convention. It commented on nearly all of the articles, and proposed the original text of seven of them. Three of these come directly from the United States Constitution and were proposed by the administration of President Ronald Reagan.[3][4] On February 16, 1995, Madeleine Albright, at the time the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, signed the Convention. It has not so far been ratified; the United States historically has employed a cautious approach to ratification of treaties: for example, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was only ratified 28 years after being signed by PresidentLyndon B. Johnson.[5] Though generally supportive of the Convention, President Bill Clinton did not submit it to the Senate for its advice and consent.[6] President Barack Obamahas described the failure to ratify the Convention as ’embarrassing’ and has promised to review this.[7][8] The United States is the only country besides Somalia and South Sudan, that has not ratified the Convention.[1][2]

Ratification of the UNCRC requires all states party to the treaty to submit reports, outlining the implementation of the treaty on the domestic level, to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, a panel of child rights experts from around the world. States must report initially two years after acceding to (ratifying) the Convention and then every five years.[9]

[edit]Groups favoring ratification

Hundreds of organizations in the United States support ratification of the Convention, including groups that work with children such as the Girl Scouts and the Kiwanis.[10] TheCampaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child argues that criticisms mentioned by opponents of the convention “are the result of misconceptions, erroneous information, and a lack of understanding about how international human rights treaties are implemented in the United States”,[11] and that ratification “would establish a useful framework from which our leaders could create cost-effective and comprehensive policies and programs that address the specific needs of children and families.”[12]

[edit]Groups opposing ratification

The non-ratification of the treaty so far is due to opposition by some political and religious conservatives to the treaty, some of whom claim it conflicts with the United States Constitution.[13]

Active opposition to the Convention in the United States has been concentrated in politically conservative groups.[13], page 83 Senator Jesse Helms, the former chairman of theSenate Foreign Relations Committee, described it as a “bag of worms,” an effort to “chip away at the U.S. Constitution.”[14] Some Americans oppose the CRC with the reasoning that the nation already has in place everything the treaty espouses, and that it would make no practical difference.[15]


[edit]Sovereignty and federalism

Legal concerns over ratification have mostly focused on issues of sovereignty and federalism.[16] Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that to some significant degree, no government—federal, state, or local—may interfere with the parent-child relationship.[17][18] The Heritage Foundation sees the conflict as an issue of international control over domestic policy: “Although not originally promoted as an entity that would become involved in actively seeking to shape member states’ domestic policies, the U.N. has become increasingly intrusive in these arenas.[19] They express concern about “sovereign jurisdiction, over domestic policymaking” and “preserving the freedom of American Civil Society”,[19] and argue that the actual practice of some UN Committees has been to review national policies that are unrelated, or are marginally related to the actual language of the Convention.[20]

Convention supporters point out that, under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Convention cannot override the Constitution because no treaty can override the Constitution (Reid v. Covert 354 U.S. 1 (1957)). In addition, as a “non-self-executing treaty”, the convention does not grant any international body enforcement authority over the U.S. and/or its citizens, but merely obligates the U.S. federal government to submit periodic reports on how the provisions of the treaty are being met (or not). The sole enforcement mechanism within the Convention is the issuing of a written report.

[edit]Death penalty and life imprisonment

Article 37 of the Convention prohibits sentencing children under 18 years old to death or life imprisonment with no opportunity for parole.

In 2002, 22 U.S. states allowed for the execution of juvenile offenders. This ceased after the 2005 Supreme Court decision Roper v. Simmons, which found juvenile execution unconstitutional as “cruel and unusual punishment“. The decision cited the Convention as one of several indications that “the United States now stands alone in a world that has turned its face against the juvenile death penalty”. [21][22][23]

The 2010 decision Graham v. Florida prohibited the sentencing of juveniles to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for non-homicide crimes. As of the Graham decision, only 6 U.S. states prohibited such sentences in all cases.[24]

[edit]Parental rights

Some supporters of homeschooling have expressed concern that the Convention will subvert the authority of parents.[25][26]

One of the most controversial tenets of the Convention are the participatory rights granted to children.[15] The Convention champions youth voice in new ways. Article 12 states:

“Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child … the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child…”[27]

Smolin, otherwise a proponent who urges U.S. reservations to the convention, argues that Article 5, which includes a provision stating that parents “provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention”,[28] “is couched in language which seems to reduce the parental role to that of giving advice”.[13], pages 81 & 90 The Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child argues that the Convention protects parental responsibility from government interference.[11]

David Smolin argues that Article 29 limits the fundamental right of parents and others to educate children in private school by requiring that all such schools support the principles contained in the United Nations Charter and a list of specific values and ideals. He argues that “Supreme Court case law has provided that a combination of parental rights and religious liberties provide a broader right of parents and private schools to control the values and curriculum of private education free from State interference.[13]

The Campaign for the U.S. Ratification of the CRC provides information rebutting this and other proposed conflicts. The CRC does not outline any specific interference with school curriculums, nor would ratification prevent parents from homeschooling their children. In addition, it recognizes the family “as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children…” (Preamble to the CRC) and repeatedly underscores the pivotal role parents play in their children’s lives. (Particularly with regard to Articles 3, 5, 7-10, 14, 18, 22, and 27.1) Under the Convention, parental responsibility is protected from government interference. Article 5 states that Governments should respect the rights, responsibilities, and duties of parents to raise their children. There is no language in the CRC that dictates the manner in which parents are to raise and instruct their children.[29]

Professor Geraldine Van Bueren, the author of the principal textbook on the international rights of the child, and a participant in the drafting of the Convention, has described the ‘best interest of the child standard’ in the treaty as ‘provid[ing] decision and policy makers with the authority to substitute their own decisions for either the child’s or the parents’;[30]

[edit]Other Arguments

David Smolin argues that the objections from religious and political conservatives stem from their view that the U.N. is an elitist institution, which they do not trust to properly handle sensitive decisions regarding family issues.[13] He suggests that legitimate concerns of critics could be met with appropriate reservations by the U.S.[13], page 110


What Kind of Party Votes Against Protection for People With Disabilities?



Posted Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, at 3:51 PM ET



Disabled demonstrators rally in 2000 to protest the state of California''s challenge to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Disabled demonstrators rally in 2000 to protest California’s challenge to the Americans with Disabilities ActPhoto by David McNew/Newsmakers/Getty Images.

You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to ratify a U.N. treaty that is based on an existing U.S. law. But then again, you might not have met the modern Republican Party, where ideological zealots rule.

On July 26, 1990, President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill had passed the House and the Senate with only 34 legislators combined opposing it.

This week, 38 Republican senators voted nay on a U.N. treaty that would extend the ADA to the rest of the world. They included six senators who had voted yay on the original bill in 1990.

The treaty was adopted by the United Nations six years ago and has since been ratified by 126 countries … just not the United States.

Even a last-minute appeal by former Sen. Bob Dole, himself a disabled veteran, as well as every major veterans group and even the Chamber of Commerce, could not sway Senate Republicans.

This is what has become of the Republican Party—a party whose votes are driven by an appeal to the lowest common denominator and by paranoid fears of the U.N. that are devoid of any fact whatsoever.

One of the reasons cited by Senate Republicans for their unwillingness to ratify a seemingly uncontroversial treaty providing protections to people with disabilities is that they didn’t believe big decisions should be made by a lame-duck Congress.

Really? And these are the same folks we are supposed to be in serious negotiations with about the impending “fiscal cliff”?

Even Mitch McConnell should be able to acknowledge the hypocrisy in that one.

Over the course of the fiscal cliff negotiations, one thing has become crystal clear: The schisms in the Republican Party are growing more and more pronounced.

I have long said there are three distinct groups under the GOP’s tent: theological warriors, who want to impose their social views on the rest of society; Tea Party zealots, who say with a straight face that they want the government to get out of their Medicare; and remnants of the pro-business moderates. While their fiscal views aren’t mine, the moderates are the last reasonable voice in the current Republican Party.

Only this last group is willing to compromise, and only they combine their ideologies with the practical necessities of governing. And this group is bit-by-bit peeling itself away from the doctrinal and extreme views of the rest of the party.

The most important question remains, though: Are there enough of them to make a deal and rein in the GOP circus?

One could understand Harry Reid’s frustration in trying to negotiate with Republicans when he vented, “It’s difficult to engage in rational negotiation when one side holds well-known facts and proven truths in such low esteem.” Reid is spot on.