The last report of the Special Rapporteur, Koumbo Boly Barry, transmitted to the general Assembly is about equity, inclusion and non-discrimination on education.
The first part of the report consist on the legal definition of these terms according to the human right international legislation.
The special rapporteur recalls that human rights international legislation prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition and birth. The definition and the core of what should be considered discrimination in the field of education is based on the Convention against Discrimination with the right to education, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous People.
Also, the special rapport mentions that it is important to distinguish between equity and equality in education to properly tackle this problematic. Equality refers to treating all students the same. Equity is providing all students with what they need to succeed. Thus, equity implies taking into consideration the social circumstances of each student including ethnic or religious background. As said by the special rapporteur. On this regard she mentions “Respect for diversity should be reflected in curricula, which should be sensitive to the culture and religion for learners”
Inclusive education, according to the report, is about providing the same learning environment for students of diverse background and abilities. It is interesting to observe that Mme. Boly mentions that inclusion has to go beyond disable people and include also the inclusion of students with different linguistic and cultural aspects. It is important to observe that the special rapporteur emphasize a participatory and holistic approach to make inclusion happen. On this regard she mentions “Effective inclusion must be implemented through education laws and policies, and it must also incorporated into the culture and practices, within school”. Besides that inclusion is intrinsically good, the special rapporteur recalls that the outcomes of inclusive education are also really good as they lead to the best learning outcomes of students.
After these definitions, the special rapporteur focuses on the legal definitions and implications that Mme. Boly has to be implemented concerning certain vulnerable groups. She made reference to Women and girls, children with disabilities, poor people, cultural ethnic and linguistic groups, indigenous communities, rural population, refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons, nomadic peoples, Roma children, stateless people and the role of private education. In most of the cases she follows the same methodology. For each particular vulnerable group she mentions the international human rights documents that can concern them; secondly it makes references to the comments concerning discrimination, equity and education made by the Committees and thirdly it mentions good practices and challenges. The followed methodology enables an easy use of it due to its systematization.
The Special Rapporteur warns that the primary responsibility for implementing the right to education as an equitable and inclusive right lies with governments. Nevertheless, the international organizations must provide targeted political, financial and technical support, especially in relation to the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and implement the Education 2030 Framework for action. On this regard, she also recalls the participatory approach of the Education 2030 with the civil society.
Here you can find the full report: http://www.right-to-education.org/sites/right-to-education.org/files/resource-attachments/UNSR_RTE_Inclusion_Equity_2017_En.pdf