UDHR Campaign 2013 Week Nine: Disability and Immigrant Rights

Update Type: 

December 2-6, 2013

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a global legal framework for disability rights that would help export the values enshrined in the United State's pathbreaking Americans with Disabilities Act to the world. The convention fell short of ratification by a mere 5 votes last December-in spite of enjoying strong bi-partisan support- and is once again on the docket of the US Foreign Relations Committee. With the upcoming vote on the proposed US ratification of CRPD, Week 9 of the #UDHR campaign takes a timely look at organizations advocating for and upholding the US committment to disability rights in the US. Click through the organizations below to learn more about their work.

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) won an important appeal in the United States
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on August 28, 2013, which validated
 that doctors cause false claims (commit Medicaid Fraud) when prescribing 
off-label psychiatric drugs to children that are not supported by drug
 references known as compendia.

Advancing Justice-ALC recently won freedom for a client diagnosed with developmental delay, who had spent a year in immigration detention. Having come to the US as a refugee from Laos when he was a child, he was arrested by immigration for minor criminal convictions and was unable to understand why he was being detained or communicate with his attorney.  After a year of litigation, the case was successfully dismissed.

Week nine of the #UDHR Campaign also pays tribute to the ongoing struggle for immigrants rights in the United States and recognizes the outstanding contributions of organizations on the forefront of the immigrant rights movement:

The ACLU created a Human Rights Program (HRP) in 2004, dedicated to holding the U.S. government accountable to universal human rights principles in addition to rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. HRP is part of a reemerging movement of U.S. based organizations that uses the international human rights framework in domestic rights advocacy, primarily in the areas of racial justice, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, national security, and criminal and juvenile justice.

Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) is a multigenerational, membership led organization of low-wage South Asian immigrant
 workers and youth in New York City, created to address the needs of South Asian immigrants, and making up one of the largest undocumented populations in New York City-often targeted by policies that racially and religiously profile them as immigrants, Muslims, low-wage workers, and youth.

The Coalition to Expand Voting Rights is dedicated to reversing the inability of New York City's 1.5 million people who are ineligible to vote in local elections due to their immigration status. Nearly 1 in every 5 New Yorkers is a legal resident, making contributions to their communities and the NYC economy yet are disenfranchised when it comes to having a say in municipal government.

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition is a statewide coalition of immigrants, refugees, and allies working to lift up fundamental American freedoms and human rights and build a strong, welcoming, and inclusive Tennessee.  They have defeated all state legislative efforts to further marginalize immigrants and refugees and create new barriers to full civic participation.