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UNESCO ensuring rights to education for children with disabilities



On 3 December of every year it is the UN International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

An estimated 400 million people with disabilities live in the Asia Pacific region. For the majority of countries in the region, it is estimated that less than 10 per cent of children with disabilities are enrolled in school.

The right to education is universal and extends to all children, youth, and adults with disabilities. This right is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2008). It is also addressed in several significant, international declarations, including the World Declaration for Education for All (1990), the UNESCO Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action (1994), and the Dakar Framework for Action (2000).

Ensuring the right to education is at the very heart of UNESCO’s mission, which is also affirmed and recognized by its Member States. Such education must also be a quality education. Thus, UNESCO emphasizes not merely the right to education, but also particularly the right to quality education for all.

The majority of children with disabilities in developing countries are currently out of school.

At present there are 75 million primary schoolchildren out-of-school and children with disabilities account for one third of that figure.
Removing barriers to accessing education and to learning for persons with disabilities are prerequisites for the realization of Education for All.

To ensure that all children have access to quality education, education policies and practices must be inclusive of all learners, encourage the full participation of all, and promote diversity as a resource, rather than as an obstacle.

Inclusive education for all will pave the way to prosperity for individuals and for the society, at large. This prosperity will, in turn, lead to a more peaceful and sustainable development of humanity.

UNESCO works for attitudinal change, develops policy guidelines and other support materials for inclusive education, and collaborates with partners to ensure that children with disabilities, along with all other groups suffering from discrimination, enjoy their right to education.

The UNESCO publication Embracing Diversity: Toolkit for Creating Inclusive, Learning-Friendly Environments (ILFE) offers a holistic, practical means to make schools and classrooms more inclusive, learning friendly and gender-sensitive. The specialized booklet   titled as “Teaching Children with Disabilities in Inclusive settings,” which supplements the UNESCO ILFE Toolkit, focuses on the specific issues that need to be addressed when teaching people with disabilities.

This booklet provides practical guidelines to successfully teach children with disabilities without compromising quality. The guidelines emphasize the use of learning-friendly practices that help children with disabilities achieve their full potential.

For accessing this specialized booklet along with the ILFE toolkit please click on the link below:

For more information about inclusive education please write to us at:

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