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Inclusive Education

© UNICEF Georgia/2012/Blagonravova
Two year-old Ioane Gelashvili with his teacher and grandmother at an early intervention centre in Tbilisi.

Inclusive education is not a marginal issue, but is central to the achievement of high quality education for all learners and the development of more inclusive societies.

The democratic and human rights-based intent of Inclusive Education is defined in the Salamanca Statement and represented in the 'recognition of the need to work towards 'schools for all' - institutions which include everybody, celebrate differences, support learning, and respond to individual needs'. A commitment to this approach is central to UNICEF's work in the region.

Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities describes persons with disabilities as 'those who have long-term, physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others'. 

This working definition of disability acknowledges the importance of the context and environment in enabling or disabling individuals from participating effectively within society.

Inclusive Education is not only about issues of input, such as access, and those related to processes such as teacher training, but it involves a shift in underlying values and beliefs, along with very specific approaches, positions, and solutions. A broad range of strategies at all levels are needed to realize the right of children with disabilities to inclusive education:

  • Government wide measure to establish the necessary infrastructure:

-political will and good governance
-government structures
-ending institutionalization
-guarantee the right to nondiscrimination
-strengthening information systems
-learning from what works
-partnerships and participation
-capacity building and awareness raising   

  • Specific targeted measures to promote the right of access and full participation in quality education:

-removing the barriers to inclusive education
-working and supporting parents
-early childhood and care services
-ensuring access and availability of inclusive 
-creating inclusive learning environments
-securing appropriate individualized support for 
children with disabilties
-developing inclusive curricula, teaching and 
learning methods
-introdcution of rights based and inclusive student 
-investment in teacher training
-support within schools for teachers
-establishing resources to provide specialist 
-a child-centered, safe and healthy environment

  • Respect for rights within learning environments

-right to respect for identity, culture and language
-respect for childrens participation rights
-right to respect for personal and physical integrity

To learn more about how UNICEF is promoting a rights-based approach to Inclusive Education for children with disabilities, click here.







Inclusive education conference in Moscow

For proceedings, documents and video from the Moscow Conference, click here.


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