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Conference on Inclusive education in Moscow

Organized by UNICEF with the support of the Moscow City Government, the conference on 27-29 September convenes experts and government officials from 20 countries. Sharing of good practices on appropriate legal framework, suitable policies, and financing are in the focus of discussions. Children with and without disabilities will also voice their opinions, interview key speakers and blog about the conference.
“As stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children with disabilities should access an inclusive, quality and free primary and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live. It is a responsibility of all of us to ensure that this right is fulfilled,” said UNICEF Senior Advisor of Children with Disabilities, Rosangela Berman-Bieler, in Moscow.

Boys and girls with disabilities are among the world’s most excluded and disadvantaged children and are at the centre of UNICEF’s equity approach.

“Inclusive education benefits all learners. Research shows that inclusive education can lead to better learning outcomes for all children, not just children with disabilities. Inclusive education promotes tolerance and enables social cohesion as it fosters a cohesive social culture and promotes equal participation in society. Inclusive education is more cost effective than separated schooling. Finally, it provides for inclusive labor markets, which are instrumental for a more efficient social economy. A sustained effort should be made to reduce prejudice, stigma and discrimination against children with disabilities through mass social mobilization and communication for behaviour and social change campaigns. We believe children should be central to these initiatives. For example, children with and without disabilities will also voice their opinions and blog at the conference.” – said  Regional Director of UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Steven Allen.
Leaders were urged to take government-wide measures to end the placement of all children in institutions, prioritizing those younger than three years of age. They were also urged to put in place education policies and strategies to promote the right to access and full participation in quality education, and the respect for rights within learning environments. Recommendations included enforcing the right to non-discrimination by rectifying policies and practices that allow stigmatization, exclusion and segregation; removing barriers to system-wide inclusive education; and engaging in comprehensive reforms at all levels of educational systems and governance.

Following the steps toward European Integration, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has adopted a number of laws and policies entitling all children to quality education and equal opportunities. “All children” referrs not only to children with special needs but also to other marginalized groups such as Roma children, returnees, children without parental care etc. While the overall implementation of laws and policies is slow, some models have been developed and best practices shared with other countries. 
Representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina at the conference made a presentation to outline the current situation, lessons learned and experiences related to inclusive education.  This presentation described one model of service provision that relies on the relationships created between schools and parents and that utilizes School support teams and teaching Assistants.

The advancement of inclusion in schools across BiH contributes to the overall social inclusion of marginalized groups. It seeks actions at all levels, from the government to the community. BiH experience confirms that skills and attitudes of school staff are crucial in promoting inclusive schools.  As described by one of the Ministry Coordinators, “We need to realize that we are all part of the inclusion process. Even the bus that drives a child to school is a part of it. We all are. Not only the school pedagogue and the teacher.” 
Over the last decade, UNICEF has been promoting quality inclusive education in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to meet the needs of every child, with a special focus on the most vulnerable children. UNICEF BiH has supported research, advocacy, programming and policy advice. 





Conference on inclusive education for children with disabilities in CEECIS (Official web page)

Conference on inclusive education for children with disabilities in CEECIS

Visit the conference web page where you can find all the available information and resources.


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