Submission to the Inquiry into the current levels of access and attainment for students with disability in the school system, and the impact on students and families associated with inadequate levels of support

March 10, 2016

ALHR provided the following submission on point (j) of the Terms of Reference to address the international human rights obligations that apply in respect to children with disabilities having access to and participating in education in Australia.

In summary, ALHR submits that in accordance with articles 24 and 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities children with disabilities must have access to inclusive education that offers them equal opportunities with other children where they can achieve full development that enables them to participate effectively in a free society. ALHR submits that schools or government policies which fail to provide equal and inclusive educational opportunities to children with disabilities are in breach of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Further, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes that all children have a right to education.  Article 23 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes the special needs of children with disabilities, requiring that assistance is made available to ensure the child has effective access to and receives education. Article 29 requires that education should be directed to developing the childs mental and physical abilities. ALHR submits that where children with disabilities are unable to access education that develops their physical and mental abilities by way of receiving special needs where required, the childs fundamental human right to education is being denied. Practices which permit this to occur must cease immediately.

To read ALHR’s full submission please click here.


Further to the above submission, Nathan Kennedy, President ALHR was also interviewed by the ABC in relation to ‘Concerns over human rights violations in treatment of special needs students’.  For the full article please click here.