This report documents information from parents, self-advocates, and family based organisations in 75 countries about experiences with inclusive education over the past 15 years since the adoption of the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994.

This report documents the struggles of children and young people with disabilities to be educated in mainstream schools in their communities.  

It is based on more than 60 interviews, mostly with children and young people with disabilities, and their parents, and draws on government data and expert policy assessments. The Chinese government has adopted regulations and rules on the education of people with disabilities, promised to raise the enrolment rate of children with disabilities, and waived miscellaneous school fees for them. Yet the report details the ways schools deny these students admission, pressure them to leave, or fail to provide appropriate classroom accommodations to help them overcome barriers related to their disabilities.

The present study focuses on inclusive education as a means to realize the universal right to education, including for persons with disabilities. It analyses the relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, highlights good practices and discusses challenges and strategies for the establishment of inclusive education systems.

Este informe de la CME sobre educación y discapacidad agrupa las pruebas disponibles hoy sobre la escala del problema, destacando los niveles de exclusión de la educación que afrontan las niñas y niños con discapacidad, y describiendo las barreras más habituales que obstaculizan su acceso a la educación de calidad. También aboga por los sistemas educativos inclusivos, donde los niños y niñas con discapacidad se integran en escuelas convencionales, y las aulas y las escuelas dan una respuesta más eficaz y se adaptan mejor a sus necesidades. Para finalizar, el informe resume las respuestas políticas que pueden facilitar la eliminación de las dichas barreras – desde la familia, las comunidades locales y el gobierno nacional, hasta la comunidad internacional – estableciendo claramente las áreas de acción y las recomendaciones políticas para los gobiernos, los donantes y la comunidad internacional

[ENGLISH]

This report on education and disability synthesises current evidence around the scale of the challenge, highlighting levels of exclusion from education faced by children with disabilities, as well as outlining the common barriers faced in gaining access to a quality education. It also aims to set out the case for inclusive education systems, where children with disabilities are brought into mainstream schools, and classrooms and schools respond and adapt more effectively to their needs. Finally, the report summarises the policy responses which can help bring down the common barriers – from the family, local communities and national government, through to the international community – setting out clear set of areas of action and policy recommendations for governments, donors and the international community.

[ESPAÑOL]

The new SUHAKAM report aims to increase the number of children with learning disabilities receiving inclusive and quality primary education by raising awareness of the challenges they experience in this regard, and identifying the gaps in information about education for these children. It is also designed to help build connections between government agencies and civil society to promote more participatory, transparent and accountable education policy. The document examines challenges to realizing the right to education for children with learning disabilities, including logistical difficulties in accessing learning facilities, inconsistent implementation of screening and assessment processes, the lack of adequate funding for programs, and the lack of adequate support in learning institutions. It also makes recommendations aimed at helping the government effectively improve access to education for this community. 



SUHAKAM’s research utilizes the four-step OPERA Framework for uncovering patterns of socio-economic rights deprivation and linking these deprivations to weaknesses in design or implementation of government policies. The analysis builds on a series of workshops in which SUHAKAM’s staff was introduced to OPERA’s tools, including the identification of indicators and benchmarks, gathering primary and secondary data, and analyzing budgets. Researchers at SUHAKAM deployed OPERA to clearly articulate the government’s legal obligations and to examine the current challenges that exist in realizing the right to education for children with learning disabilities. The project was spurred by concerns that a large number of children with learning disabilities appear to be excluded from primary education, while little accurate data is readily available in this regard. 

A recurrent theme in the report is the need for the government to gather and make available accurate disaggregated data on children with learning disabilities, along with related budgetary information. The report therefore recommends that the government collect such data and statistics on access to education among children with learning disabilities, at both the primary and secondary levels, and that the collection of this data be systematized and shared among all relevant government agencies.

This report considers the right of persons with disabilities to inclusive education. It recommends a series of legislative, policy and financial measures that need to be adopted in order to give effect to this right. It also identifies some of the obstacles that prevent the fulfilment of the right to inclusive education, as indicated in the responses submitted by various States and non-governmental organisations to a questionnaire, sent out by the Special Rapporteur, the purpose of which was to assess the degree to which international standards are being implemented in this area. Among other obstacles, it cites the discrepancy that exists between the normative framework and the resources available for realising the right to inclusive education, as well as the lack of genuine political will to achieve this goal.

[ESPAÑOL]

Este informe se presenta con arreglo a la decisión 1/102 del Consejo de Derechos Humanos, y analiza uno de los temas de especial interés para el Relator Especial sobre el derecho a la educación: el derecho de las personas con discapacidad a una educación inclusiva. El derecho a una educación inclusiva implica la posibilidad de que todos los niños, niñas y adolescentes, independientemente de sus condiciones o diferencias, aprendan juntos. El paradigma de la educación inclusiva surge como respuesta a las limitaciones de la educación tradicional, calificada como patriarcal, utilitarista y segregadora, así como a las insuficiencias resultantes de la educación especial y de las políticas de integración de estudiantes con necesidades especiales dentro del sistema regular de educación.

El concepto de educación inclusiva se encuentra implícitamente comprendido en el párrafo 1 del artículo 13 del Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, en los artículos 29 y 23 de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño; y expresamente, entre otros, en la Declaración de Salamanca y marco de acción para las necesidades educativas especiales, aprobados por la Conferencia Mundial sobre Necesidades Educativas Especiales: Acceso y Calidad en 1994 y en la recientemente adoptada Convención sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad, que establece la obligación de los Estados de asegurar un sistema de educación inclusiva.

El informe recomienda una serie de medidas legislativas, de gestión y financieras que deberán ser adoptadas con el fin de que este derecho sea una realidad. Igualmente, se identifican algunos de los obstáculos que atentan contra el derecho a la educación inclusiva, con base en las respuestas enviadas por varios Estados y organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG) a un cuestionario remitido por el Relator Especial, que tuvo por objeto constatar el nivel de aplicación de las normas internacionales en la materia. Entre otros obstáculos, se cita la discrepancia existente entre el marco jurídico y los recursos disponibles para la realización del derecho a la educación inclusiva, así como la falta de una verdadera voluntad política para tal fin.

 

[ENGLISH]

Published in 2015, this document is the second of a series of thematic mappings on the implementation of the right to education, following a first edition on Girls’ and Women’s Right to Education. It presents concrete measures adopted by countries to ensure the full enjoyment of the right to education for persons with disabilities.

The document is based on national reports submitted for the Eighth Consultation on the monitoring of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) and the UNESCO Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (1960).

The first part of the document provides a thematic analysis of measures and promising practices that have been reported on by countries. The second part compiles in factsheets progress and challenges in constitutional and legislative frameworks and measures, for the 48 countries that reported on measures taken, out of the 59 reporting countries.

The document is intended to serve as a practical tool for both advocacy and monitoring. By highlighting concrete measures taken by countries, it also offers a basis for regional and international co-operation and shares promising practices from which other countries can learn.

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