The General Secretariat of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, in cooperation with the project for the development of social inclusion and development of the human capital of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, organized last wednesday a consultation workshop with organizations of persons with disabilities on how to secure the public Education Planning and Regulation Act for the Year 2018 with the International Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities in the presence of the Minister of Education and Public education Mashir Al Dawalab and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Security Social Development Ahmed Osman Hamed Karrar
The Minister of Education stressed on the State’s ratification on the International Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities and the commitment of the Ministry to the inclusive education policy.
State Minister at the Ministry of Security and Social Development Ahmed Osman Hamid Karrar also stressed the state’s interest in the segment of persons with disabilities in supporting their projects and issues
The Secretary-General of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, Badreddine Ahmed Hassan Ali, stressed the Council’s keenness to ensure that the law includes non-discrimination on the basis of disability in education and the creation of a friendly environment for persons with disabilities in the institutions of the state, besides training teachers , stressing on the importance of the workshop Recommendations to support the issues of persons with disabilities
The World Health Organization and the World Bank estimate that one billion people experience some form of disability. Of those, it is estimated that 93 to 150 million are children. According to Plan International these children are 10 times less likely to go to school than other children and when they do attend school, it is likely to be in a segregated setting. The Global Partnership for Education estimates that 90% of children with disabilities in low and lower-middle income countries do not go to school. In 2016 the UN reported that less than half of the world’s six million refugee children were in school whilst in a report on the education of Syrian refugee children, Human Rights Watch identified that refugee children with disabilities faced particular and ongoing barriers to school enrolment.
Historically, children with disabilities have been excluded from the general education system and placed in ‘special schools’. In some cases, they are separated from their families and placed in long-term residential institutions where they are educated in isolation from the community, if they are educated at all. Both practices persist in many regions, for example, Eastern Europe has the highest number of institutionalised children in the world and a child with a disability is almost 17 times more likely to be institutionalised than other children (UNICEF, 2012).
Children with disabilities have very low rates of initial enrolment. Even if they do attend school, children with disabilities are more likely to drop out and leave school early without transitioning to secondary school and beyond (GCE, Equal right, equal opportunity report, 2014). Children with disabilities are also at increased risk of school violence and bullying, preventing the safe enjoyment of their right to education .
Sudan Ministty of Justice of , explained that since the ratification of the Convention, Sudan had made huge strides towards adopting a human rights-based rather than medical approach to disability. Some of the latest developments included the enactment of the amended Persons with Disabilities Act of 2017, replacing the previous Persons with Disabilities Act of 2009. Twenty-three laws had been identified to be brought in line with the Convention, while 12 other laws were also being studied, included the Medical Insurance Act. Persons with disabilities had taken part in the national social dialogue to achieve peace and security in Sudan, whereas the Government had made strenuous efforts to incorporate disability in all ministry plans, in partnership with organizations representing persons with disabilities. The Government had also created the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, overseen by the President and half of whose membership represented members of organizations of persons with disabilities. However, the country had faced many obstacles that hampered its efforts in the field of human rights, such as the unilateral coercive measures imposed for more than two decades. Those measures hindered the realization of basic rights for the Sudanese population, which was why Sudan looked to the support of specialized United nations agencies.
In the ensuing discussion, Committee Experts commended the submission of an alternative report by civil society, the Government’s efforts to domesticate the Convention, adopt the revised version of the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2017, and to restructure the National Council for Disabilities in 2010. However, they expressed concern that the new Persons with Disabilities Act was not sufficiently in line with the Convention because it lacked provisions which prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability.
Experts also pointed out to the dominance of substitute decision-making as opposed to supported decision-making, inadequate care for women and girls with disabilities, violence against women and children with disabilities, existence of corporal punishment, forced medical treatment, female genital mutilation, intersectional discrimination, use of derogatory terms about disability, lack of statistical data, reasonable accommodation, awareness raising programmes about the Convention, active participation of persons with disabilities in public and political life, access to justice and legal assistance, the right to marry, the status and use of the sign language, protection of refugees and displaced persons with disabilities, provisions for independent living, voting rights, inclusive education, employment, healthcare, inclusion of persons with disabilities in disaster risk reduction plans, international cooperation projects and plans to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.