Overcoming Barriers to Education for Refugees with Disabilities

Migration Australia Journal, Vol. 3, pp. 63-67, 2013

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 13/31

11 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2013 Last revised: 29 Sep 2014

See all articles by Laura Smith-Khan

Laura Smith-Khan

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: April 9, 2013

Abstract

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognises that access to education is essential to enabling individual empowerment. Persons with disabilities are statistically less likely to be able to access education, undermining their empowerment and thus their ability to achieve full human rights. When persons with disabilities are also affected by forced migration, the obstacles they face often increase. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (‘UNHCR’) has published guidelines to address this important issue, but it is yet to be seen how well these are implemented in the field.

Refugees with disabilities often experience added barriers to education as a result of their displacement situations. This article will explore the connection between education and empowerment. It will draw on field research in Indonesia and Malaysia exploring the situation for refugees with disabilities and identify the specific barriers refugee children and adults with disabilities face when accessing education in those locations. Finally, it will evaluate the extent to which UNHCR and its partners are following their guidelines and addressing these barriers.

Keywords: inclusive education, disability, displacement, refugee, UNHCR, school, CRPD

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Smith-Khan, Laura, Overcoming Barriers to Education for Refugees with Disabilities (April 9, 2013). Migration Australia Journal, Vol. 3, pp. 63-67, 2013; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 13/31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2247792

Laura Smith-Khan (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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