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Inclusion: International

A panel with speakers. In front of it, people are sitting to the left and to the right. In between, on the floor, you can read in big letters: 'Disability is NOT inability'.
“Disability is NOT inability“ – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a Meeting of the General Assembly of UNISDR on Disability and Development, 23.09.2013.
Copyright: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

At the international level, some major events and resulting publications can be documented that demonstrate developments and endeavours in the field of inclusive education of people with special needs. Here, you will first find a timeline of crucial dates and events.
The online dossier is structured as follows:

Timeline with Important Dates and Events

Timeline Overview
Timeline with some important dates of international inclusion policy.
Timeline with some important dates of international inclusion policy (accessible text format)
Copyright: Created with readwritethink software. Created by: N. Cohen CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Clickable Timeline with Further Information

Unesco Convention against Discrimination in Education

1983 till 1992
UN-Decade of Disabled Persons


Unesco World Conference on "Education For All" (final report & World Declaration)
in Jomtien, Thailand. Outcome: World Declaration on Education for All "Meeting Basic Learning Needs" ("Jomtien Declaration")

1983 till 1992
UN-Decade of Disabled Persons

Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (including implementation monitoring and proposed supplement 2004)

This document lists 22 rules summarizing the World Programme of Action. It was one of the outcomes of the United Nations’ Decade of the Disabled Person (1983-1992). More info

World Conference on Special Needs Education (final report & Salamanca Statement)
in Salamanca, Spain. Outcome: The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education stating that inclusion is one of the most important goals of international education policy.


1st World Education Forum
in Dakar, Senegal. Outcome: Dakar Framework for Action, "Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments"


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) - Informationsseite der Vereinten Nationen
Comprehensive information page by the United Nations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  More info

1. WHO World Report on Disability

WHO global disability action plan 2014-2021

2nd World Education Forum
in Incheon, South Korea. Outcome: Education 2030. Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

WHO global disability action plan 2014-2021

International Politics

This section comprises important documents (e.g. reports, declarations, conventions) on "disability" and "inclusion". It complements the timeline in this dossier (see above). Links are listed in chronological order of appearance. Some documents have emerged as a result of an international conference which you will find in the section on "Events and conferences".

This Unesco page provides the English text of the Convention against Discrimination in Education adopted in 1960. Furthermore, it provides the authoritative translations, information on state parties, on declarations and reservations, territorial application, on monitoring and some more. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Scheduled during International Literacy Year (1990), this international conference attempted to launch a renewed worldwide initiative to meet the basic learning needs of all children, youth, and adults, and to reverse the recent decline in basic education services observed in many countries. The conference's three basic objectives were: (1) to highlight the importance of basic [...]

Available in different languages, this document lists 22 rules summarizing the World Programme of Action. It was one of the outcomes of the United Nations’ Decade of the Disabled Person (1983-1992). Although not a legally binding instrument, the Standard Rules represent a strong moral and political commitment of Governments to take action to attain equalization of [...]

This website provides the fulltext of the United Nations' "Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities" as of 1993 (in English only). Furthermore, you will find annual reports on the implementation of these rules in the UN member countries as well as a proposed supplement to the rules as of [...]

Final report of the UNESCO "World conference on special Needs education: access and Quality" 1994 in Salamanca, Spain. This conference adopted the famous Salamanca Statement on inclusion as a goal of international educational policy. The report contains the following chapters: The Salamanca Statement * Special Needs Education: an Overview * The Conference * Summary of Thematic [...]

The Salamanca Statement was a result of the "World Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality, Salamanca, Spain, 7-10 June 1994". It is a major international policy document, outlining the global consensus on the needs for educational reform and the policies and strategies needed to include disabled children in the [...]

This brochure contains 1) the text of the Dakar Framework, adopted by the World Education Forum in Dakar, 26 - 28 April 2000, 2) an expanded commentary of the Framework which "provides details on each goal and strategy of the Framework for Action on the basis of many suggestions provided before and during the ... Forum" and 3) the texts of results of the six regional [...]

This document provides guidelines and concepts for rendering National Education Plans / Education for All (EFA) more inclusive, with the objective of ensuring access and quality education for ALL learners. This paper is intended to systematize how excluded children are planned for in education. It begins with a brief introduction, which provides a historical perspective on the [...]

Extensive information page by the United Nations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The page provides the following resources:
> Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
> Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
> Ratifications and Signatures of the CRPD and [...]

You will find here an English version, the official German translation, and an alternativ German translation and an easy to read version of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The convention was drafted on 13 December 2006 and signed on 30 March 2007. The alternativ German translation was published because persons with disabilities and their [...]

The concept and practice of inclusive education have gained importance in recent years. Internationally, the term is increasingly understood more broadly as a reform that supports and welcomes diversity amongst all learners. Inclusive education is a process that involves the transformation of schools and other centres of learning to cater for all children - including boys and [...]

In 2011, the World Bank and the Whorld Health Organisation (WHO) published the first report on disability, against the background of the UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities (UN-CRPD). The report is accessible in various languages and formats, including easy-to-read and DAISY format. It can also be accessed by [...]

This publication builts upon the discussions of two conferences about the issue of inclusion: the "International Conference on Education - Inclusive Education: The Way of the Future" organized by the Unesco in 2008 and the conference "Inclusive Education: A Way of Promoting Social Cohesion" organized by the Spanish Ministry of Education in 2010 on the occasion of the six-month [...]

Publication of the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the G-20 major economies (Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors). Available only in German. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide].

Worldmap of countries having signed or ratified the UN Disability Convention or having taken no action (as of 14 May 2020).
Worldmap of countries having signed or ratified the UN Disability Convention or having taken no action (as of 03 May 2016, you can compare it with an older map as of 03 May 2016). Please find here theInteractive map with more details (please use “Select a treaty“ at the top of the page to select the “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities“).

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) reviews the states that signed the UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The respective countries are asked to show their development in implementing the convention. The table shows which countries get reviewed in which period of time. You [...]

"The 66th World Health Assembly held in May 2013 adopted a resolution calling for better health care for people with disabilities and requesting the WHO Director-General to prepare a comprehensive WHO action plan in consultation with United Nations organizations and Member States. It was noted that the plan should be based on the [...]

The Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) was adopted dureing the World Education Forum 2015 in South Korea. Over 1,600 participants from 160 countries, including over 120 Ministers, heads and members of [...]

Events, Conferences

Beginning 20.10.2014

Das LISIS (Internationale Forschungsgruppe zur inklusiven Schulbildung) wurde von der Pädagogischen Hochschule HEP Vaud (Schweiz) und von der Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) (Kanada) ins Leben gerufen. Außerdem arbeiten dort auch ForscherInnen aus Spanien, Italien und Frankreich mit. Die Konferenz ist aufgeteilt in eine Inauguralveranstaltung zum Thema [...]

Four ISEC conferences could be identified on the net. You can find the links in our detailed abstract (click on [more]: 2000, 2005, 2010, [...]

Beginning 16.06.2014

"The purpose of this five-day International Disability Summer School is to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the generalities of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform for persons with disabilities. The core focus was on Access to Justice and Political Participation. The [...]

Beginning 10.06.2014

"Inclusion International (II) and the Kenyan Association for the Intellectually Handicapped (KAIH) regret to announce that we have been forced to cancel the 16th World Congress of Inclusion International in Nairobi. The recent attacks on May 17th have increased concerns of delegates regarding safety and there have been many cancellations, the result being that the [...]

Republic of South Africa
Beginning 04.05.2014

"Global Action Week is one of the major focal points for the education movement. Created and led by the Global Campaign for Education, Global Action Week provides everyone campaigning for the right to education with an opportunity to highlight a core area of the Education For All agenda and make targeted efforts to achieve change on the ground, with the added support of [...]

Beginning 24.04.2014

"Le Symposium sur invitation autour de la pluralité des regards sur ce travail de différenciation pédagogique veut réunir des enseignants, des formateurs et des cadres scolaires déjà engagés envers le développement d’écoles plus inclusives et dans le soutien à la mise en œuvre de la différenciation. Provenant de différentes régions de Suisse (trois cantons) [...]

Beginning 19.02.2014

Die Verabschiedung der UN-Konvention zu den Rechten von Menschen mit Behinderungen gab der Integrations-/Inklusionsbewegung Rückenwind. Mittlerweile wird deutlich, dass die Mühen der Ebene erreicht sind. Diese Tagung soll Raum geben für eine kritische Betrachtung der derzeitigen Realität und der theoretischen Fundierung. Die Tagung verfolgt das Ziel, den Begriff der [...]

Beginning 17.01.2014

"Dass Inklusion als eine internationale Angelegenheit anzusehen ist, wird spätestens durch die UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention (UN 2006) deutlich, die ein „inclusive school system at all levels“ (Art. 24) postuliert und dieses von den unterzeichnenden Staaten einfordert. Bei der Umsetzung von Inklusion in den jeweiligen Ländern zeigen sich dabei gravierende [...]

United States of America
Beginning 23.09.2013

The 68th annual General Assembly of the United Nations, that took place in 2013, had a focus on disability and inclusion. The website provides a lot of information on the assembly (outcome report, statements, videos, press material, background information), as well as campaign material and other resources on this topic - including all important international and UN documents [...]

The theme of the UNESCO International Conference on Education 2008 was inclusive education. The website provides national reports on the development of inclusive education in the particpating countries, a final report, conclusions and recommendations, presentations, national reports and messages of the ministers. The [...]

Websites and Reports of Organisations and Networks

"Inclusion International is a global federation of family-based organizations advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide." Over 200 federations in 115 countries are members of Inclusion International. The webiste provides information on international developments in the field of [...]

Unesco main website about the issue of inclusion in education. On the right hand side, you will find publications, guidelines, toolkits and "Ten questions on inclusive education". On the left hand side, there are introduction to different groups that traditionally suffer from exclusion (Roma Children, Street Children, Child [...]

international; Africa; Asia; Europe; Latin America; Arab States; Pacific Rim; North America; Caribbean
[This is a copy of the original website as of 16.05.2015. The original website is offline.]
This website of the International Bureau of Education (IBE) of the Unesco provides regional (continental) and country specific reports on the [...]

IEA is a project of UNESCO in co-operation with the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. The website provides the fulltext of the "UNESCO policy guidelines on inclusion in education" in different languages, a glossary and abbreviation list for concepts and termes in the field of inclusion, as well as Best [...]

DPI was established in 1981 and according to their own statement, it "continues to be the world's ONLY cross-disability Global Disabled People's Organization (DPO)". DPI's focus is on Youth, Women, Post 2015 Development Agenda, Neglected Regions, Universal Periodic Review, World Bank Safeguards. You will find a lot of reports, [...]


The Centre for Disability Law & Policy located at the National University of Ireland (NUI Galway) provides a bibliography of scientific journals with a focus on disability. A website for the respective journal is provided if available. The journals are classed by themes:
A: Disability Studies
B: Disability Area Studies [...]

The journal is published since 1997. Access is subject to a fee or a licence. Please check your local (university or other) libraries for fulltext access. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Access to the fulltext of the journal starting with Vol 16 (1) 2001. The journal publishes original articles concerning special education. Experimental as well as theoretical articles are sought. Potential contributors are encouraged to submit reviews of research, historical, and philosophical studies, case studies and content analyses in addition to experimental [...]

Literature, Research

The German journal "Zeitschrift für Inklusion" published a special issue on international perspectives on inclusion in 2016. Two articles published are in English: ** Sentiments, concerns and attitudes towards inclusive education - A comparison between teacher education students at the University of North Carolina (Charlotte, USA) and the University of Education (Ludwigsburg, [...]

This guide is an annotated bibliography on social exclusion. It is sorted by thematical chapters that recommend literature on the following issues: definitions, important aspects, causes and forms, excluded groups, identification and impact of social exclusion and tackling with it. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide].

"Published by UNESCO Bangkok, this publication set is a series of five guides designed for anyone who wants to do advocacy to bring about improvements in pre-service teacher education towards more inclusive education. They discuss challenges and barriers to inclusive education in different areas of teacher education and outline [...]

"In light of new theories of multiculturalism and globalization, this insightful book compares approaches to the educational inclusion of diverse minorities- such as the ethnic and linguistic minorities in America. Drawing on their extensive experience, the contributors examine: * accounts from cross-cultural cognitive psychology on the special interests and educational needs [...]

"In the past few decades ‘disability’ has climbed the academic ladder. Just as race, class and gender it now is being considered an advantageous instrument for critically exploring a wide range of societal issues.
The aim of the Disability History Lecture Series organized at the KU Leuven is to explore and promote the [...]

international; Switzerland; Canada; Spain; Italy; France
LISIS is a francophone international research group working on inclusion in schools. It was established by Haute Ecole Pédagogique Vaud (Switzerland) and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) (Canada). Researcher from France, Spain and Italy are also participating in LISIS. [...]

Last Update: 12.07.2022  -

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