Moving Towards Inclusive Education as a Human Right: An Analysis of International Legal Obligations to Implement Inclusive Education in Law and Policy
81 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 8, 2014
Children with disabilities experience ongoing segregation in special education classes or are otherwise excluded from education. This is in spite of the fact that States have a legal obligation to offer an accessible and inclusive education to all learners. Exclusion of any child from education is a violation of international law and a breach of human rights. The provision of inclusive education is an obligation under international law, as well as the means by which to fulfil the additional legal obligation to make education accessible to children with disabilities. Inclusive education is not only an educational system, but an approach and an attitude which addresses the learning needs of all learners and allows for the greatest possible educational opportunities. Inclusive education prevents exclusion and promotes the participation of all children in the educational setting and beyond.
This report provides an interpretation and legal analysis of the right to education, and specifically inclusive education, under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (“CRC”) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“CRPD”). The rules of interpretation codified in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties are explained and used in this interpretation process. The report discusses the obligations of State Parties, policy makers, and educational professionals to make inclusive education for all learners a reality. The obligations from the Conventions are clarified through an interpretation of the treaty texts and an examination of the works of the treaty body committees. The report also makes recommendations and conclusions relating to the right to inclusive education found in these legally binding instruments.
Keywords: right to education, inclusive education, children with disabilities, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, non-discrimination, reasonable accommodation
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