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Adopt Free, Inclusive Education for All

(Johannesburg) – South Africa has not delivered on its promises to guarantee inclusive education for children with disabilities and to ensure that they have adequate skills for employment, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Phumzile Vilikhazi, who has an 18-year-old son with autism, writing “Today we appeal and call for justice and accountability” on a poster
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Hundreds of Thousands Still not Getting Equal Education

When two young South African learners ran into the road to pick up a fallen election poster featuring the country’s president Cyril Ramaphosa, their action did not go unnoticed. A video about the “rescue mission,” posted on social media…
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Government Should Make Education Free for All

A group of courageous moms of children with disabilities in Johannesburg has seized the run-up to International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 to launch a petition that calls upon South Africa’s Department of Basic Education to remove…
An estimated half-a-million children with disabilities have been shut out of South Africa’s education system, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today at a joint event with South Africa’s Human Rights Commission.
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Students With Disabilities Unsafe on the Way to School, in Classroom

The video is distressing: A 16-year-old girl with multiple disabilities cowering in her bus seat as she is struck repeatedly by her caregiver. Seconds later the driver appears and drags the girl violently off the bus, dumping her onto…
School children waiting to board their school transportation.
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Human Rights Council Members Should Ask South Africa About Children With Disabilities

More than 600,000 children with disabilities are out of school in South Africa. In a country that has claimed to have achieved universal basic education, children with disabilities experience systemic barriers and discrimination on a daily basis. These…
Drawing of a female student holding a placard that says “I want to learn” found in Boitumelo Special School in Kimberley, South Africa.
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Hefty Fees and Additional Costs Discriminate Against Children with Disabilities

No child should be denied their right to learn because of poverty. Two years ago, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which states that primary education should be free and compulsory for all, came into force in South…
south african children
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Government Should Tackle Discrimination and Exclusion Against Children With Disabilities

This month marks the start of a new school year in South Africa, but many children with disabilities won’t be attending class with their peers. Parents have been told that their children cannot go to mainstream schools, but at the same time many have been…
Rito, 8, lives in Diepsloot, Gauteng Province.
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Closing of Esidimeni psychiatric complex shows need for caution

Esidimeni means “place of dignity” in Zulu. It was the name of a large psychiatric complex in South Africa’s Gauteng province where more than 2,000 people with psychosocial disabilities lived, largely isolated from society, some for more than 20 years.…
Life Esidimeni Randfontein Care Center, South Africa.
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The Government Should Guarantee Their Equal Right to Education

A top South African official spoke in glowing terms earlier this week about the country’s successes in ensuring children with disabilities have the same opportunities as other children when it’s time to go to school. …
south african children
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Children and adolescents with disabilities face huge challenges to access education in South Africa. One year on from the release of Human Rights Watch’s report documenting barriers to a quality education for children with disabilities, the government has…
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Several Member Countries Falling Behind on Protections, Quality of Life

(Johannesburg) – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) should take concrete steps to improve respect for human rights among its 15 member countries. SADC heads of state will meet on August 30-31, 2016, in Mbabane, Swaziland…
Billboard advertising the 2016 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Mbabane, Swaziland.
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Government Should Keep Promise to Open School Doors

(Johannesburg) – South Africa has made little progress in addressing the discrimination and exclusion faced by children with disabilities when accessing schools, Human Rights Watch and Section 27 said today. South Africa’s national government needs to…
Amanda from Zama-Zama, KwaZulu-Natal province
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Parliament Should Act Urgently to Mandate Inclusive Education

Johannesburg – South Africa’s Parliament should urgently address the crisis in inclusive education affecting children with disabilities, Inclusive Education South Africa, SECTION27, Human Rights Watch, and the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the…
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