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Amicus Curiae Regarding School Segregation for Children with Disabilities

HONORABLE DR. TOFFOLI, MINISTER OF THE SUPREME FEDERAL COURT, RAPPORTEUR OF DIRECT ACTION OF UNCONSTITUTIONALITY Nº 6590 - OF DECREE 10.502 ESTABLISHING THE NATIONAL POLICY ON SPECIAL EDUCATION

 

ADIN  Nº 6590          

                            

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, a private entity constituted in the form of a non-profit civil association, registered with CNPJ/MJ No 17.836.413/0001-03, with an office at Alameda Jaú, no 56, Cerqueira César, CEP 01420-000, in the city of São Paulo, state of São Paulo, through its attorney, undersigned, comes respectfully to Your Excellency to apply for admission as AMICUS CURIAE in the records of the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality - ADI nº 6590 which challenges the constitutionality of Decree 10.502, that established  the national policy of special education, pursuant to Article 7°, §2º of 1999 Law no 9.868  and based on the facts and grounds set forth below.

1. ADMISSIBILITY

Human Rights Watch has the honor to submit to the Federal Supreme Court, as amicus curiae in the direct action of unconstitutionality presented by the Partido Socialista Brasileiro (PSB), the following statement on the incompatibility of Decree no 10.502 with Brazil's obligations in respect of international human rights standards that are also incorporated into Brazilian law.

The admissibility of this statement is supported by §2° of art. 7° of 1999 Law n° 9.868, which provides [right?] for the direct action of unconstitutionality and for the declaratory action of constitutionality, unequivocally allowing civil society entities to participate in the actions of concentrated control of constitutionality, in the following terms:

1999 Law n° 9.868

“Art. 7° (...)

§2° — The rapporteur, considering the relevance of the matter and the representativeness of the candidates, may, by an unappealable decision, admit, observing the period established in the previous paragraph, the participation of other organs and entities.”

1999 Law n°9.882

“Art. 6° (...)

§ 2° — Oral arguments and memorials may be authorized by the rapporteur at the request of the interested parties.”

According to a consolidated understanding in the Federal Supreme Court, the amicus curiae constitutes a pluralizing and legitimizing factor in the constitutional debate. The qualified participation of civil society entities with diverse experiences, including in the international context, and their wide scope of practice in the most diverse aspects of Brazilian society, before the Supreme Court, serves precisely this purpose of pluralizing and legitimizing the debate, democratizing the concentrated control of constitutionality.2

The present application fulfills all the requirements of the law and jurisprudence for the participation of civil society as amicus curiae and should therefore be admitted.

The relevance of the matter discussed in the direct action of unconstitutionality, presented by the PSB, and its impact on society are evident, especially with regard to the rights of people with disabilities. This case, as will be shown, is directly related to the realization of human rights guaranteed by international law and by the Brazilian Constitution.

With regard to the representativeness and material legitimacy of the applicant, Human Rights Watch is a nongovernmental organization that is dedicated, since 1978, to defending and protecting human rights around the world. The organization is independent and impartial with respect to any political, religious, or economic organizations or movements. By mandate, the organization can receive no money, either directly or indirectly, from any government. It is headquartered in New York and it also has offices in several cities around the world, including São Paulo. Human Rights Watch enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Council of Europe, and the Organization of American States, and maintains a working relationship with the Organization of African Unity.

As part of its mandate, Human Rights Watch is committed to using judicial and quasi-judicial tools of domestic and international law to contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights. That commitment has motivated this specific Human Rights Watch petition. With the amicus curiae brief, Human Rights Watch wishes to demonstrate the incompatibility of Decree nº 10.502 with Brazil’s international obligations to protect the rights of people with disabilities in Brazil.

More precisely, Human Rights Watch has done extensive work on disability rights as part of the broader human rights agenda. In more than 25 countries, Human Rights Watch work has addressed a broad range of human rights issues such as violence against women and children with disabilities, access to education and healthcare, institutionalization, legal capacity, the right to vote, and the impact of armed conflict. This amicus brief submitted before the court provides an expert analysis of Brazil’s international human rights obligations.

In this sense, there is no doubt that the legitimacy and interest of the petitioner is evidenced, both through its institutional and statutory mission and its extensive work in relation to the protection and defense of people with disabilities rights, include right to access inclusive, quality education, in different regions of the world. In view of the above, the admissibility as amicus curiae is demonstrated, according to the criteria of material relevance and representativeness.

 

2. THE MERITS

2.1. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS OBLIGATIONS

This section provides an overview of key obligations that the Brazilian government, in the manner in adopted this decree, has failed to fulfil under international human rights treaties to which it is a party, and rights that would be at risk if the decree establishing the National Policy on Special Education were fully implemented. Such rights include the right of people with disabilities to participation through their representative organizations, which entails an obligation on the government to hold close consultations with people with disabilities in the development of policies relating to them and in particular the implementation of rights under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), such as the right to access inclusive, quality education on an equal basis with others; and the right to be free from discrimination and to reasonable accommodation in all education settings. Brazil has ratified the CRPD and since 2009 all rights established by the CRPD were incorporated in its legal system as constitutional rights.[1]  

2.1.1 Obligation to hold close consultations with people with disabilities through their representative organizations, and to consider the preferences of children with disabilities

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Brazil in August 2008[2], requires states parties to consult closely with organizations of people with disabilities when developing, adopting and implementing policies that relate to their rights. According to CRPD article 4.3: “in the development and implementation of legislation and policies to implement the Convention, and in other decision-making processes concerning issues relating to persons with disabilities, States Parties shall closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organizations.”[3]

Close consultation and active involvement of persons with disabilities in issues related to them lies at the core of the CRPD and all policies stemming from it. For years, people with disabilities have been excluded from decision-making processes on issues that have specific impact and relevance for them and considered, at best, as subjects of care, instead of rights holders. Very often, persons with disabilities are still not consulted in the decision-making about matters relating to or affecting their lives, with decisions continuing to be made on their behalf.

The CRPD is grounded in respect for the individual autonomy of people with disabilities, and the principle that people with disabilities should be included, on an equal basis with others, in every domain of social life.[4] This includes consultation on policies and laws affecting them.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee), the entity charged with making authoritative interpretations of the CRPD, has stated that states party to the Convention “should include the obligation to closely consult and actively involve persons with disabilities, through their own organizations, in legal and regulatory frameworks and procedures across all levels and branches of Government.”[5] States parties should acknowledge the positive impact on decision-making of involving people with disabilities, due to their “lived experiences and knowledge of the rights to be implemented.”[6]

The CRPD Committee has said that governments should systematically and openly approach, consult, and involve people with disabilities. [7] In particular, “public authorities should give due consideration and priority to the opinions and views of organizations of persons with disabilities when addressing issues directly related to persons with disabilities.”[8] Consultation should be timely, broad, and accessible.[9] The right to participate is a civil and political right to be applied to decision-making, implementation and monitoring processes related to the Convention. It is a process, not an individual one-time event.[10] Governments should consult people with disabilities, regardless of their type of disability or age, in decision-making processes related to legislation and policies that have a direct or indirect effect on their lives.[11] Government authorities should ensure that they understand and respect the preferences of children with disabilities in the development and implementation of legislation and policies, through organizations of children with disabilities or supporting them, with due consideration for their personal evolving capacities.[12] Participation should be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who are isolated, such as in institutions.[13] Public authorities have a duty to inform people with disabilities of the outcomes of consultation; to explain the reasoning and considerations in the decision-making, including how the views of people with disabilities were incorporated.[14] This ensures consultation is not only formal but meaningfully contributes to decision-making and adoption of policies and laws.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by Brazil on September 1990, also establishes the right of the child to be heard, requiring that “States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.”[15] The Committee on the Rights of the Child, which provides authoritative interpretations of the CRC, “has always interpreted participation broadly in order to establish procedures not only for individual children and clearly defined groups of children, but also for groups of children, such as indigenous children, children with disabilities, or children in general, who are affected directly or indirectly by social, economic or cultural conditions of living in their society”.[16]  

Human Rights Watch requested through the access to information law the “explanatory memorandum” from the General Secretariat of the Presidency, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, all of which participated in drafting Decree No. 10.502. The responses make clear that the government did not comply with its international obligation to consult with people with disabilities, including children with disabilities, about the decree. The only public “consultation” that the government claims to have done was in 2018, through an online poll presenting the drafts of the policy. And even that poll did not meaningfully seek out the views of people with disabilities. Out of 8329 respondents, only 47 (0,6%) were students who benefited from inclusive education. Responses by 47 persons can in no way be understood as representative of the around 1.3 million students in inclusive education in the country. 

 

2.1.2 The Right to Education and the Right to Non-Discrimination

International human rights law recognizes the right to education as universal.[17] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), ratified by Brazil in January 1992, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by Brazil in September 1990, affirm the core principles of universality and nondiscrimination in the enjoyment of the right to education.[18]

International law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, which the CRPD defines as any “distinction, exclusion or restriction…which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”[19] The CRPD explicitly recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to education and that to realize this right “without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system.”[20] 

Under the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, which Brazil ratified in  1969,  governments undertake to eliminate and prevent any form of discrimination, whether in law, policy or practice, which could affect the realization of the right to education, including “depriving any person or group of persons of access to education of any type or at any level; limiting any person or group of persons to education of an inferior standard; or establishing or maintaining separate educational systems or institutions for persons or groups of persons”.[21]

 

2.1.3 The Obligation to Include Children with Disabilities in the General Education System  

The CRPD requires that states guarantee education for children with disabilities in the general education system. Specifically, governments should ensure that “people with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability.”[22] The obligation to provide primary education for all children is an immediate duty of all states.[23]  The CRPD also specifies that persons with disabilities have the right to access education on an equal basis with others, meaning without discrimination.[24] That right extends to the provision of all education, public and private.[25]

The CRPD Committee notes that the CRPD prohibits the exclusion of persons with disabilities from the general education system, including through any legislative or regulatory provision that limits their inclusion on the basis of their impairment or the “degreeof impairment.[26]

Exclusion can be direct or indirect. Direct exclusion includes any system to classify certain students as “non-educable.”[27] It can also mean conditioning inclusion of people with disabilities in general education based on the so-called “extent of the potential of the individual”.[28]

Indirect exclusion would be “imposing a requirement to pass a common test as a condition for school entry without reasonable accommodations and support.”[29]

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations human rights agency, has described the implications of these rights in practice, stating that:

“The right of persons with disabilities to receive education in mainstream schools is included in [CRPD] article 24 (2) (a), which states that no student can be rejected from general education on the basis of disability. As an anti-discrimination measure, the “no-rejection clause” has immediate effect and is reinforced by reasonable accommodation … forbidding the denial of admission into mainstream schools and guaranteeing continuity in education. Impairment based assessment to assign schools should be discontinued and support needs for effective participation in mainstream schools assessed…. The legal framework for education should require every measure possible to avoid exclusion.”[30]

Decree 10.502/2020 contains a number of provisions that appear designed to discriminate against children with disabilities and exclude them from the general education system. These include Article 2, sections VI and VII, which appear to encourage authorities to establish specialized schools for students with disabilities who “don’t benefit” from inclusive education or special classes for people with disabilities. Also, Article 9, Sec. III requires the development of criteria to identify “students who do not benefit from inclusive mainstream schools.” This opens the door to authorities using the decree as an excuse to categorize some children as “non-educable” and seek to exclude them from mainstream schools, requiring them to attend special schools or classrooms, in violation of Brazilian and international law.

 

2.1.4 The Right to Education is the Right of the Individual Learner

The CRPD Committee has said that inclusive education should be understood as  “a fundamental human right of all learners,” and highlighted that it is “the right of the individual learner,”[31] and in the case of children, it is not the right of a parent or caregiver. Parental responsibilities are subordinate to the rights of the child, according to the Committee.[32]

States parties to the CRPD are also obligated to prevent third parties from interfering with the enjoyment of the right to inclusive education, “for example, parents refusing to send girls with disabilities to schools, or private institutions refusing to enrol persons with disabilities on the basis of their impairment.”[33]

 

2.1.5 The Right to Inclusive Education

The CRPD obligates states to ensure the right to education for children with disabilities through access to inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live.[34] According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), inclusive education has been acknowledged as the most appropriate means for governments to guarantee universality and nondiscrimination in the right to education.[35]

An inclusive education system should focus on the full and effective participation, accessibility, attendance, and achievement of all students, especially those who are at risk of being excluded or marginalized.[36] The education system should provide an individualized educational response, rather than expecting the student to fit the system.[37]

Inclusive education is instrumental to the realization of other human rights. It is the way people with disabilities can lift themselves out of poverty, obtain the means to participate fully in their communities, and be safeguarded from exploitation.[38]

Research on inclusive education has shown that students with disabilities achieve better academic results in an inclusive environment when given adequate support than they do in special education settings.[39]

Inclusive education is not only relevant for the education of students with disabilities but should benefit all children and be “central to the achievement of high-quality education for all learners and the development of more inclusive societies.”[40]

The CRPD Committee encourages states to redefine budgetary allocations for education, including transferring budgets to develop inclusive education.[41]

The CRPD Committee in its 2015 review of Brazil’s first periodic report, recommended strengthening “efforts with adequate budgetary allocations to consolidate an inclusive quality education system.”[42] It also recommended implementation of a mechanism to prohibit, monitor and sanction disability-based discrimination in the public and private education systems, and to provide reasonable accommodation and accessibility in all educational facilities.[43]

The CRPD Committee has said that inclusive education “seeks to enable communities, systems and structures to combat discrimination, including harmful stereotypes, recognize diversity, promote participation and overcome barriers to learning and participation for all by focusing on the well-being and success of students with disabilities. It requires an in-depth transformation of education systems in legislation, policy and the mechanisms for financing, administering, designing, delivering and monitoring education”.[44]

Diversity in the classroom benefits all children, including by addressing stereotypes, improving understanding and learning. Studies increasingly recognize that students with disabilities achieve better academic results in inclusive environments, surrounded by their peers with no disabilities and provided with special support when needed.[45] As noted by Vernor Muñoz, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, schools with an inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discrimination, and are thus essential to securing the full right to education for children with disabilities.[46] The CRC Committee also acknowledged that inclusive education can show a child with a disability “that he or she has recognized identity and belongs to the community of learners, peers, and citizens.”[47]

 

2.1.6 The Requirement of Reasonable Accommodation in Inclusive Education

To realize the right to inclusive education, the CRPD requires states to ensure “reasonable accommodation,” defined as the “necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments” that would ensure people with disabilities the enjoyment of all human rights and freedoms on an equal basis with others. Denial of reasonable accommodation constitutes discrimination.[48]  

In education, governments should provide reasonable accommodation in the form of supports based on an individual’s requirements to ensure students can access an effective education and maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.[49]

Reasonable accommodations need to be designed to strengthen opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in the classroom and in out-of-school activities alongside their peers.[50] Provision of reasonable accommodation may not be conditional on a medical diagnosis of impairment.[51]

Accommodations may include changing the location of a class, providing different forms of communication and learning materials in alternative/accessible formats, providing students with a note-taker, or a language interpreter or allowing students to use assistive technology in learning and assessment. Provision of non-material accommodations, such as allowing a student more time, reducing levels of background noise, sensitivity to sensory overload, alternative evaluation methods or replacing an element of curriculum by an alternative element, should also be considered. Support can also consist of a qualified learning support assistant, either shared or on a one-to-one basis, depending on the requirements of the student.[52]

An important part of ensuring reasonable accommodation is training teachers, school administrators, and education officials in methods to support persons with disabilities. According to the CRPD, such training should include “disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.”[53] 

 

2.1.7 The Prohibition on Segregated Education

The CRPD Committee has stated that the obligation to implement an inclusive education system requires states “to move as expeditiously and effectively as possible” towards the full realization of the right to education for people with disabilities. The obligation on states to realize the right to education for people with disabilities “is not compatible with sustaining two systems of education: a mainstream education system and a special/segregated education system.”[54]

The right to non-discrimination includes the right not to be segregated and to be provided with reasonable accommodation.[55] Segregation occurs when the education of students with disabilities is provided in separate environments, such as special schools, in isolation from students without disabilities.[56] Segregation can also take the form of placing children with disabilities in separate classrooms within mainstream schools..[57]

Decree 10.205/2020 seems designed to do precisely that. By establishing separate schools and classrooms, and then providing that there will be guidelines to determine which children are not benefiting from mainstream education, it seems aimed at encouraging the segregation of children with disabilities—regardless of their wishes—instead of investing in accommodations to ensure high quality inclusive education.

Placing students with disabilities within mainstream classes without reasonable accommodations or “accompanying structural changes to, for example, organization, curriculum and teaching and learning strategies, does not constitute inclusion.”[58] Rather, inclusion “involves a process of systemic reform embodying changes and modifications in content, teaching methods, approaches, structures and strategies in education to overcome barriers with a vision serving to provide all students of the relevant age range with an equitable and participatory learning experience and environment that best corresponds to their requirements and preferences.”[59]

The CRPD Committee notes that “the whole environment of students with disabilities must be designed in a way that fosters inclusion and guarantees their equality.”[60]

 

3. CONCLUSION

In accordance with its international human rights obligations, prior to the adoption of any policy that has an impact on the right to inclusive education for people with disabilities, authorities in Brazil should closely consult with people with disabilities through their representative organizations and consultations, and should engage in specific age-appropriate consultations with children as individual rights holders who may be affected by a policy or legislation. Such consultations should occur through accessible and effective procedures that ensures full participation in the processes of policy development, implementation, and monitoring. Authorities should also provide a transparent, accessible explanation on how the results of the consultation process are incorporated into the policies adopted. None of this has happened as part of the preparation of Decree No. [FILL IN], even though the decree has a direct impact on the rights of people with disabilities.

In accordance with its international human rights obligations, the Brazilian government has the obligation to the right to education which includes non-discrimination. Children with disabilities have the right to participate on an equal basis with others in the system of general education. They have the right to an inclusive, quality education and to reasonable accommodations to meet their individual requirements and ensure their effective education. Non-discrimination includes a prohibition on determining any child to be “non-educable,” not qualified for education in the general system, or only qualified for education in segregated settings, such as separate schools or separate classrooms for children with disabilities.

In recent years, Brazil has been making significant progress in fulfilling these rights under its law for inclusion of people with disabilities, which has required that all schools provide high quality inclusive education for people with disabilities, ending the previous ghettoization of students with disabilities in a parallel system of special schools. But the new decree looks like a direct attack on this effort.

Instead of investing in improving inclusive education, the new decree establishes a national policy encouraging states and municipalities to segregate people with disabilities from the mainstream inclusive system of education, through creating specialized schools (article 2, section VI) or creating special classes for people with disabilities (article 2, Section VII). The decree also presents inclusive education as only one alternative form of education, rather than a requirement that applies to all mainstream schools (article 2, section X). Taken together, this language appears designed to create a path for regular schools to abandon efforts to ensure inclusivity, and instead refer students with disabilities to special schools or classes.

This interpretation is further grounded in the decree’s language that requires the development of criteria to identify “students who do not benefit from inclusive mainstream schools” (article 9, Sec. III). Again, this creates the serious risk that authorities will use the decree to categorize some children as “non-educable” and seek to exclude them from mainstream schools, requiring or pressuring them to attend special schools or classrooms instead of supporting them to access inclusive education, in violation of Brazilian and international law.

Any assessments made regarding children with disabilities and their access to education should not be made for the purpose of exclusion, but rather to determine the most effective ways to guarantee their right to an inclusive, high quality education. This would include assessments to identify the individual reasonable accommodations required for participation in the system of general education on an equal basis with others.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which in Brazil has constitutional status, establishes a prohibition to exclude people with disabilities from the general system of education (article 24.2.a). All people with all types of disabilities (physical, sensory, intellectual, and with mental health conditions), including those with higher requirements of support (CRPD, preamble J), are entitled to access the regular system of education with the necessary adjustments and individual reasonable accommodation, as appropriate, but always within the general system.

By investing in a parallel system of education for children with disabilities, with policies that foster the exclusion of certain children from mainstream education, the decree is inconsistent with the right of children with disabilities to be included on an equal basis with others in the system of general education.

Brazil should take all necessary steps, both immediate and incremental, to ensure the general education system is inclusive for people with disabilities, as mandated by the Brazilian law for inclusion (people with disability statute) and required under international human rights law.

 

4. THE ORDERS

Based on all that has been stated above, Human Rights Watch asks to be granted the following requests:

  1. to be admitted as amicus curiae in the records of ADPF 6590;
  2. to be summoned for all the acts of the process through its attorney and legal representative x x x x, registered in the OAB/SP under number xxxx;
  3. that oral arguments should be granted during trial;
  4. alternatively, participation to be admitted as a memorial.

 

On merit, once admitted to the court as amicus curiae, as expected, the direct action of unconstitutionally should be fully granted, for the reasons explained above.

 

In these terms, it requests approval

São Paulo, December 9, 2020

 

 

 

[1] Article 5th, 3rd paragraph of the Brazilian Constitution establishes that “§ 3 International human rights treaties and covenants that are approved, in each chamber of Congress, by two thirds of Congress members, should be equivalent to a constitutional amendment.”

[2] Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), adopted December 13, 2006, G.A. Res 61/106, entered into force May 3, 2008, ratified by Brazil on August 1], 2008.

[3] CRPD, art. 4 (3).

[4] CRPD, Art. 3.

[5] UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee), General Comment No. 7 on the participation of persons with disabilities, including with disabilities, through their representative organizations, in the implementation and monitoring of the Convention, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/7, 2008, http://docstore.ohchr.org/SelfServices/FilesHandler.ashx?enc=6QkG1d%2fPPRiCAqhKb7yhsnbHatvuFkZ%2bt93Y3D%2baa2pjFYzWLBu0vA%2bBr7QovZhbuyqzjDN0plweYI46WXrJJ3MHZqEL5PhEJmdtaGCrlGCRXSVhYk32UnG2WCQn91e1, para. 15.

[7] Ibid., para. 22.

[8] Ibid., para. 23.

[9] Ibid., para. 22

[10] Ibid., para. 28.

[11] Ibid., paras. 16, 24, 27, and 94(m).

[12] Ibid., paras. 24-25.

[13] Ibid., para. 94(m).

[14] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 7, para. 48.

[15] Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified September 24, 1990, G.A. Res. 44/25, annex, 44 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 167, U.N. Doc. A/44/49 (1989), entered into force September 2, 1990, art. 12.

[16] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee), General Comment No. 12: The right to be heard, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/GC/12 (2009), https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fGC%2f12&Lang=en (accessed December 3, 2020), para. 87.

[17] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), acceded January 24, 1992, G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 49, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 993 U.N.T.S. 3, entered into force January 3, 1976, arts. 13, 14.

[18] Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), UN General Assembly, ratified December 10, 1948, G.A. Res. 217A(III), U.N. Doc. A/810 at 71 (1948), arts. 7, 26; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), UN General Assembly, ratified December 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200A(XXI), entered into force January 3 1976, art. 13; Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), G.A. Res. 44/25, ratified November 20, 1989, entered into force September 2, 1990, arts. 23(3-4), 24(2e) and 28.

[19] CRPD, art. 2.

[20] CRPD, art. 24(1).

[21] Convention against Discrimination in Education, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (1960), ratified April 19, 1969, 11 C/Resolutions, CPG.61/VI.11, entered into force May 22, 1962, art. 1.

[22]  CRPD, art. 24(2a).

[23] UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment No. 13: The right to education (article 13 of the Covenant), U.N. Doc. E/C.12/1999/10 (1999), https://undocs.org/%20E/C.12/1999/10 (accessed December 3, 2020), para. 51.

[24] CRPD, art. 24(2)(b).

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] UN General Assembly, Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, A/HRC/25/29, December 18, 2013, https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/25/29 (accessed December 3, 2020), para. 26.

[31] CRPD, art. 24(1), and CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 10(a).

[34] CRPD, art. 24(2)(b).

[35]  Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (IHCHR), “Thematic Study on the Right of Persons with Disabilities to Education: Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” A/HRC/25/29, December 18, 2013, https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/25/29 (accessed November 13, 2020), paras. 3 and 7.

[36] CRPD, art. 24(1), and CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 8 and 9.

[37] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 12(c).

[38] Ibid., para. 10(c).

[39] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “Global education monitoring report 2020. Inclusion and education: all means all.,” 2020, https://en.unesco.org/gem-report/report/2020/inclusion, p. 18.

[40]  United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), “The Right of Children with Disabilities to Education: A Rights-based Approach to Inclusive Education,” 2012, https://inee.org/system/files/resources/UNICEF_The_Right_of_Children_with_Disability_to_Education_2012_en.pdf, (accessed November 13, 2020), p. 8.

[41] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 39.

[42] CRPD Committee Concluding Observations for Brazil CRPD/C/BRA/CO/1, September 4, 2015. https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/TBSearch.aspx?Lang=En&CountryID=24, para. 45.

[43] Ibid., para. 44.

[45] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “Global education monitoring report 2020. Inclusion and education: all means all.,” 2020, https://en.unesco.org/gem-report/report/2020/inclusion, p. 18.

[46] United Nations Human Rights Council, “The Right to Education of persons with disabilities: Report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education Vernor Muñoz,” February 19, 2007, para. 9. Https://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A%2FHRC%2F4%2F29 (accessed November 13, 2020).

[47] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “General comment No. 9 (2006): The rights of children with disabilities,” February 27, 2007, CRC/C/GC/9, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fGC%2f9&Lang=en (accessed November 13,2020), para. 64.

[48] CRPD, art. 2 Governments cannot allege a disproportionate and undue burden to evade the obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to ensure inclusive education; CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 18.

[49] CRPD, art. 24(2)(c-e).

[50] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 33.

[51] Ibid., para. 29.

[52] Ibid., paras. 29, 30 and 32.

[53] CRPD, art. 24(4).

[54] Emphasis in the original. CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 39.

[55] Ibid., para. 13.

[56] CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 11.

[57] Specialized classes within mainstream schools, such as to provide Braille training or physiotherapy, may be beneficial for students with disabilities if the special classes complement or facilitate their participation in mainstream classes.

[58]  CRPD Committee, General Comment No. 4: The right to inclusive education, U.N. Doc. CRPD/C/GC/4, 2016, para. 11.

[59] Ibid.

[60] UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, “General Comment No. 2: Article 9: Accessibility,” April 2014, para. 39.

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