Commissioner Paul Steven Miller of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will make his second trip in as many years to the Middle East next week to share his expertise on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and related disability issues during a conference in Amman, Jordan.
The two-day conference on October 20-21 is entitled "Roundtable Expert Dialogue on Regional Consultation on Issues Related to the Drafting of an International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities." Under the patronage of HRH Prince Raed Bin Zaid, and in cooperation with the Jordanian National Disability Council, the roundtable will be hosted by the Jordan office of the Landmine Survivors Network. The purpose of the meeting is to develop a statement of principles that would reflect the region's position on the provisions of a proposed convention on the rights of individuals with disabilities, and lay the foundation for the next steps in the drafting process.
The organizers hope to elicit the views of governmental representatives, disability rights advocates, and experts in international human rights law, and disability law and policy development. The discussions will facilitate future regional dialogue and provide substantive regional input into the first meeting of a working group that will begin drafting the proposed convention in January 2004. In addition to attending the conference, Commission Miller will also meet with staff of the American Embassy in Amman.
"I look forward to sharing my views and perspectives on United States disability policy and laws with our friends in the Middle East," said Commissioner Miller.
"The United States is a role model in providing equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life," he added. "By lending American expertise on disability issues, we hope to help our international partners consider legal and other steps to improve the daily lives of disabled persons throughout the world."
Commissioner Miller has been actively engaged in international civil rights issues, and the visit to Jordan will mark his second recent trip to the Middle East. Last year, he traveled to Israel at the request of former Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to discuss employment discrimination and affirmative action issues facing Arab Israeli citizens at a business forum held in Nazareth. He has testified before a committee of the British House of Commons on disability rights and the ADA, was a member of an American delegation to Japan, and was an active participant in international judicial meetings considering the legal implications of the genetics revolution. Over the years he has also met with numerous foreign delegations from around the world to discuss civil rights issues.
As one of the longest serving members of the EEOC in the 40-year history, Commissioner Miller has played a leading role in the agency's highest priority policy initiatives for nearly a decade. He has visited nearly every state in the Union to reach members of the agency's diverse stakeholders – educating workers about their rights, employers about their responsibilities, and examining strategies for reducing discrimination in the workplace. He was first nominated as a Commissioner of the EEOC by President Bill Clinton in May 1994, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate several months later. Since then, the Senate has twice unanimously re-confirmed Mr. Miller as an EEOC Commissioner. His current term expires on July 1, 2004.
As a member of the Commission, he participates in the development and approval of EEOC enforcement policies and authorizes Commission litigation. He has been involved in every aspect of the agency's implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has also chaired task forces that created and implemented the EEOC's highly successful National Mediation Program, and developed new approaches for improving the agency's strategic enforcement and litigation programs.
The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against discrimination in the federal government. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.
This page was last modified on October 17, 2003.
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