meeting of the SR with Inclusive Education Canada

Canada is a country of significant disparities in accessibility and access to education, health, justice, and social protection, depending on where in the country a person lives. The situation of indigenous persons with disabilities is of particular concern. But the country also counts with experiences like the inclusive education system in New Bronswick, which are a model for the rest of the world. 

One in five canadians have disabilities. That is more than 6 million people. 

In light of this, the federal government expressed its vision and committment to make Canada accessible and inclusive. Over the last years, it has promoted or enhanced disability-related initiatives, including Bill C-81, a new Strategy for an Accessible Government, improvements to the Canadian Disability Saving Program, and the Enabling Accessibility Fund.

But approaches are mostly framed in terms of social assistance, rather than from a human rights-based perspective.

In her press conference at Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, the Special Rapporteur shared observations stemming from her 10-day fact-finding visit to the country. She praised the fully inclusive education experiences in New Brunswick as a model for the rest of the world, and welcomed the new Canadian Accessibility Bill, encouraging all provinces and territories to follow suit.

But she also noted the great disparities in the access to basic services and fundamental rights, depending on where in the country a person lives. She expressed particular concern about the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities, who do not have access to the same services and opportunities, and who seem far behind in their enjoyment of their basic rights: 

“There is an urgent need for more leadership at the federal, provincial and territorial levels, to ensure better coordination in the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities across the country.” 

View the full statement


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  • Copyright 2016