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Conference on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities Challenges & Opportunities for CEECIS MOSCOW

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Conference on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities Challenges & Opportunities for CEECIS MOSCOW - September 27-29, 2011. THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD Guiding principles: general requirements for all rights.

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Conference on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities Challenges & Opportunities for CEECISMOSCOW - September 27-29, 2011



Guiding principles: general requirements for all rights

  • Definition of the child (Article 1): Defines a 'child' as a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood younger.
  • Non-discrimination (Article 2): Applies to all children, whatever their race, religion or abilities; whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from. It doesn’t matter where children live, what language they speak, what their parents do, whether they are boys or girls, what their culture is, whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.
  • Best interests of the child (Article 3): The best interests of children must be the primary concern in making decisions that may affect them. (…) This particularly applies to budget, policy and law makers.
  • Right to life, survival and development (Article 6): Children have the right to live. Governments should ensure children survive and develop healthily.
  • Respect for the views of the child (Article 12): When adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account.


“UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities.”

International human rights law and standards, including the CRC, the CEDAW and, in particular, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), guide our work on disability in accordance with our mission and mandate, across all disabilities.

UNICEF’s Mandate

CRC, together with CRPD and CEDAW:

- UNICEF foundation to uphold the civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights of all girls, boys and women in the world, including those with disabilities.

convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Article 1 - Purpose

To promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

Persons with disabilities include 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.

  • CRPD
  • 149 signatories
  • 103 ratifications

Out of 22 countries in the Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS region, 18 have signed the CRPD but only 12 have ratified it.

Optional Protocol

  • 90 signatories
  • 62 ratifications
disability terminology
Disability Terminology

The CRPD institutes:


Also Correct:

  • people with disability or disabilities
  • Disabled People also acceptable


He cannot vote because he is disabled.


He cannot vote because the stairs prevent him from reaching the ballot box.

From MEDICAL to SOCIAL model

functional diversity environment

Equity = Equal Opportunities

Functional Diversity Environment

To guarantee a fair selection, all will have the same exact test – climb up on that tree.


Equity issue becomes clear when

1+1= minus 2

Gender + disability

Minorities + disability

Indigenous + disability

Race + disability

Refugees + disability

Orphans + disability

Poverty + disability

and other associations, including all of the above


most excluded are the ones with multiple factors combined



Interaction between persons with different levels of functioning and an environment that does not take those differences into consideration.

Disability= Functional limitation x Environment


Environment Impact in the relation between disability and functioning

FL 1 x E 0 => 0 Disability

FL 5 x E 0 => 0 Disability

FL 1 x E 1 = 1 Disability

FL 5 x E 5 = 25 Disability




Disability is part of each and every individual’s life cycle

Beyond the typical areas of impairments (physical, sensory, intellectual and mental), people in general face ‘disabling’ conditions in a society that is unprepared for diversity.


Poverty & Disability

WHO/WB estimate approximately 15 percent of world’s population has a disability. This translates into overa billion people, at least 200 million being children with disabilities (CWD), 80% of them living in developing countries.

disability and education
Disability and Education

Estimated 40 million of 115 million out-of-school children have disabilities.

UNESCO: 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school; therefore they are absent in school data-sets, and invisible on national policy agenda.

Estimated 30% of world’s children who live on the street are children with disabilities.


From exclusion to inclusion

- Societal perceptions leading to stigma and discrimination;

- Families being discriminated against;

- Institutions were established to “solve situations” that society as a whole had difficulty dealing with;

- Specialists should be in charge of these “difficult issues” and provide all services;

- Family and society were not involved or accountable for;

- “Complicity” among all sectors of society and government;

- Lack of information – lack of interaction;

- Exclusion and invisibility.


Now we need to take the way back…

- Most causes of disability are related to social and economic development issues;

- Establishment of separate systems to address societal issues is not the solution;

- We need to bring the issues back to society to deal with;

- To construct a society for all, everybody is needed.

crpd provides a development oriented roadmap that
CRPD Provides a development oriented roadmap that:
  • Recognizes that human capital formation, development, and maintenance is essential to break the cycle of poverty, deprivation, and social exclusion.

Requires States to invest in persons with disabilities;

Emphasizes the importance of mainstreaming disability issues as an integral part of relevant strategies for sustainable development;

Recognizes that the full participation of persons with disabilities will result in significant advances in human, social, and economic development of society and the eradication of poverty;

Contributes to greater social equity, inclusion, and cohesion;

disability inclusion challenges
Disability inclusion challenges

- Investment in better data;

- Make the development case for inclusion both with governments and with donors;

It can be done!!!!

- Involve families and organizations of people with disabilities to generate country-based demand;

- Stay actively involved in developing policy dialogue, analytical work and projects;

- Forge strategic alliances.


Strategies for Promoting Inclusive Development

  • Build on existing opportunities; propose inclusive strategies in initiatives already being implemented;
  • Develop capacities among different actors to advocate and negotiate for inclusive policies, programs, humanitarian actions;
  • Establish mechanisms for participation and collaboration ofPwD,CwD & families in design, implementation, M&E of policies, programs and humanitarian actions.
  • Invest in public discourse & communication to change attitudes towards people with disabilities.

Opportunities in CEECIS

- Most CEECIS countries focus in one way or

another on education of children with disabilities;

- Efforts of education ministries of the region and national stakeholders are supported by international organizations;

- UNICEF and partners are currently carrying out programs for students with special education needs in several countries of the region;

- Valuable efforts to collect reliable data serving as a solid basis for educational planning have been undertaken;

- International community is requesting that UNICEF take global lead on advocacy and implementation of Inclusive Education policies and practices;

  • efforts on the policy and administrative levels;
  • available financial resources;
  • practicable and result oriented research;
  • necessary technical assistance, including for systematic teacher training.


  • - take government-wide measures on ending placement of children in institutions.
  • - 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.
  • enforce the right to non-
  • discriminationby rectifying policies and practices that allow stigmatization, exclusion and segregation;
  • - remove barriers to system-wide inclusive education;
  • - engage in comprehensive reforms at all levels of educational systems and governance.
thank you


Rosangela Berman BielerSenior Adviser on Children with DisabilitiesGender, Rights and Civic Engagement SectionDivision of Policy & PracticeThree United Nations Plaza, Room 452, New York, NY 10017Tel: 212-824-6067 - Fax: 212-735-4420e-mail:

web site: