The Foreign Relations Senate Committee held a hearing on July 12 regarding the U.N.’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Opponents to the treaty ratification testified at the hearing. They were a Heritage Foundation representative and a Home School Legal Defense Association representative. See above link for the written testimony.
Senator Lee (Utah) asked in-depth questions about the UN's CRPD language. Questions about federalism and state law were discussed, as was the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).:
Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk are our Illinois Senators. Their office contact information is here.
Durbin supports ratification. He said there is a move to "mark up soon [to] get the vote onto the senate floor by the end of the year". I just spoke with Senator Kirk's Springfield office and it appears he does not have a position on this treaty at this time and is weighing constituent concerns on the issue. The date of July 26 has also been suggested as a deadline for a vote on the Senate floor.
Heritage Foundation's blog posted this:
"Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa and Senator John McCain both spoke in support of the CRPD, but not all Senators supported the convention. Republican Senator Jim DeMint argued there is no need for the United States to bind itself to a global pact or submit to international scrutiny of America's treatment of disabled people.On another side is opposition to the ratification of the treaty. Steven Groves of Heritage Foundation and Michael Farris, Founder and Chairman of Home School Legal Defense (HSLDA) both spoke in opposition voicing their concerns. They drew particular attention to Article 7 of the UN Convention.
It is well-known that many children with special needs are home educated. There is concern that ratification of the convention will allow the government to step in and take away parental rights, including the ability to home school their child with disabilities if they believe it is in the best interest of their child. Farris and Groves believe parents have the right to decide how to educate their children with disabilities."
Linked is the actual treaty document.
The National Education Association supports ratification of this treaty. The NEA is notorious for ignoring homeschooling family successes for the sake of institutional success. Many homeschooling families leave the public schools because their special needs children were treated dismally in the classroom. The public school socialization was a negative factor.
We can ask what discrimination means to those with power and authority to affect our families' lives and lifestyles. Ask questions of the political leaders pushing the ratification of this treaty. Observe their past actions in votes and speeches. Determine their motivations and if they are pro-family or not. Read the treaty and determine if you're comfortable with the language.
Parents and families do not need one more layer of oversight and bureaucracy to determine what is best for their children. Particularly when proposed on an international level with a rather sad UN record in protecting human rights.
The National Home Education Legal Defense organization have 3 well researched articles about their concerns with the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.