COFACE Families Europe was following closely the process of developing a General Comment on Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
COFACE Disability members, COFACE Families Europe branch representing families of persons with disabilities, naturally advocates for inclusive education for all children as they often experience segregation in special schools. We know from their experiences that children with intellectual disability and multiple disability are often among those who are rejected to take part in mainstream schools and the teachers are unfortunately unable yet to accommodate their special needs in mainstream school setting. It is very unfortunate that in many countries investment targets special schools/resource centres instead of developing a well-functioning inclusive education system that would truly serve everyone’s interest and contribute to more equal and tolerant societies.
Many COFACE Disability members give us account about the stigma the whole family is facing once their child with a disability is sent to special school and cannot study with their siblings – often far away from the family’s home in situations when the family lives in rural settings, causing the institutionalisation of the child at early age… Nevertheless, special schools fail to provide skill development and real perspectives to children and hinder their opportunities later in the open labour market -something that concerns families as a whole due to the risk of poverty in our ageing societies.
COFACE-Disability welcomes very much the text and the inclusive approach taken by the UN CRPD Committee.
Final text of the General Comment on Article 24 CRPD can be found here