MindFreedom International News Release- 24 July 2009

The US media top story tonight?
A war of words between the Cambridge police, a Harvard professor and
President Obama.
Distracted by the frenzy, much of the media missed how President Obama
ended his day:
Signing a global UN treaty to protect the human rights of people with
disabilities. Along with many others, MindFreedom played a role in
crafting the treaty inside the United Nations.
Here's the MindFreedom News Release:
MindFreedom International Thanks President Obama for Support of UN
Treaty on Disability and Human Rights
President Obama marked the 19th anniversary of the Americans with
Disabilities Act by instructing UN Ambassador Susan Rice to sign an
historic United Nations "convention" or treaty next week on disability
and human rights, joining 140 other nations.
"It's the first new human rights convention of the 21st century,"
Obama said at in the White House East Room.
MindFreedom International -- uniting a broad constituency of mental
health consumers, psychiatric survivors, mental health professionals,
advocates and others concerned with fighting for human rights in the
mental health system -- praised President Barack Obama's announcement
about signing the UN International Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (CRPD).
Celia Brown, MFI Board president, led a team of MindFreedom members
inside the United Nations during years of meetings to create the treaty.
Celia has been widely praised by cross-disability leaders for her warm
and inclusive community-building at the UN.
Said Celia, "We appreciate that the President is fulfilling the
commitment he made to the Convention during his campaign. His
leadership indicates that human rights can be a cornerstone for people
with disabilities in the United States and around the world.
"The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities represents a
paradigm shift of understanding disability from a medical model to a
social model. The CRPD recognizes the key principles of non-
discrimination, freedom to make one's own decisions, and to have the
opportunity to be actively involved in policies that effect our lives."
The MindFreedom International UN Team participated in UN meetings with a
diverse alliance of leaders from disability organizations including the
International Disability Caucus (now the International Disability
Alliance), CRPD Forum and World Network of Users and Survivors of
MindFreedom International was instrumental in conducting workshops
during the UN convention negotiations to educate people with
disabilities and governments on the perspectives of human rights of
users/survivors of psychiatry.
David Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, and a board member of
the United States International Council on Disability (USICD), said, "We
look forward to the Senate reviewing the treaty for ratification as a
significant step to winning human rights for the 650 million people in
the worldwide disability community."
Judy Heumann, former Clinton Administration appointee, board member of
USICD, and participant in the negotiations to draft the treaty, said,
"This treaty reflects the unique insights of disabled people from around
the world. The participation of disabled people in decision- making about
policies affecting our lives is changing the way we are regarded in our
communities and by our governments,"
Susan Rice, the United States State Ambassador to the UN, will
officially sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons wih
Disabilities on July 30, 2009 at the UN Headquarters on July 30, 2009 in
New York City.
For further information, please contact : office@mindfreedom.org  or Celia
Brown at Cksean@aol.com
- end -
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