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(Washington, DC) U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is calling for the Senate to pass the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), an anti-discrimination treaty that aims to promote, protect and ensure equal rights for persons with disabilities.  At a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this afternoon, Shaheen expressed her support for the treaty, which would also protect the rights of Americans with disabilities traveling and living abroad.

“We have taken important steps to defend the rights of those with disabilities in the United States and it’s time we reaffirm our leadership on this issue around the globe,” Shaheen said. “This treaty would reiterate our commitment to the rights of all people, regardless of their situation, and I hope that we can come together to quickly ratify this treaty.”

Inspired in large part by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Disabilities Convention requires that State Parties ensure equality under the law for persons with disabilities and work to end discrimination in access to justice, health care, education and employment.  To date, 158 countries have signed the Convention and 138 have ratified it.

Shaheen has a history of supporting the rights of those with disabilities.  As the Governor of New Hampshire, she supported services for New Hampshire citizens with disabilities by expanding healthcare options, increasing community services and ending discriminatory practices by health insurance companies.  She also established a Task Force on Employment and Economics Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities in 2002 to provide recommendations on how best to increase job opportunities for people with disabilities.