U.N. Disabilities Treaty Resurfaces

Posted on May 29th, 2013

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Air Date: May 29, 2013

Host: Jim Schneider

Guest: Michael Farris

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Michael Farris is the chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association and chancellor of Patrick Henry College. He is a constitutional appellate litigator who has served as lead counsel in the United States Supreme Court, eight federal circuit courts, and the appellate courts of 13 states. He has been a leader on Capitol Hill for over 30 years and is widely known for his leadership on home schooling.

Jim and Michael opened this edition of Crosstalk with an update regarding the Romeike's of Germany, the home schooling family that applied for asylum in the United States.

The U.N. is looking to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Why do we need a U.N. treaty to set public policy for individuals with disabilities? Michael feels there's a place for treaties but in this case he believes there's no place for international law telling any country how to run its domestic affairs. Besides, the United States is already ahead of the rest of the world regarding legal protections for the disabled.

Some of the problems with this treaty include:

--The term "disability" is not defined but instead is viewed as an evolving concept.

--No one can violate any disabled person's rights under the treaty. This sounds good on the surface. However, one of the rights according to the treaty is access to buildings. That would include both public and private buildings... including all homes.

--Abortion funding would be made available to disabled people.

--Adherence to a "best interest of the child" standard meaning the government can decide what's right for a child, not the parents.

If ratified, will this be a gateway treaty for America's ratification of other U.N. Treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (C.E.D.A.W) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child? Would this treaty obligate the U.S. to fund disability programs in nations that can't afford them? Find out when you review this edition of Crosstalk.

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