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Inclusion in South America

Graffiti / mural in Santiago de Chile on free and inclusive education
Graffiti / mural in Santiago de Chile: "Free and inclusive education! Now!"
Copyright: Dimitry B. (flickr), "Socialist mural, Santiago, Chile", CC BY 2.0

The following webdossier presents internet resources on the topic of inclusion in South America. The focus here is on the inclusion of people with disabilities, as the dossier is primarily aimed at German users who strongly associate the concept of inclusion with the topic of disability.

Nonetheless, one has to acknowledge that in other countries and regions the issue of inclusion is also being negotiated in further areas of society. In South America, for example, inclusion is often mentioned and dealt very closely with the issues of social (in)justice and (in)equality - regardless of the group that is to be included. Another focus of inclusion in South America often is on the inclusion of indigenous peoples (ethnic inclusion). Therefore, in the last section of this dossier, we present some articles on inclusion in various areas other than disability.

Unfortunately, many internet resources are only available in Spanish (and / or Portuguese). You can find English-language sources in the sections "Overview", "Literature" and "Inclusion in other areas of society".

The Education Worldwide team wishes you stimulating read.

Websites giving an overview, introductions into the topic


This regional report gives an insight into inclusive education in latin America and the Caribbean. It is a supplement to the "Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report" published annually by the Unesco. In 2020, the report's focus theme is inclusion in education. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Editorial for the special issue "Enduring and/or New Forms of Inequality in a Globalizing World" of the Latin American Research Review 52 (2) 2017. Inclusion is mainly discussed as social / societal inclusion in this article, no as disability inclusion. The article gives an overview over current debates about social inequality and inclusion in latin America. [Abstract: Editors [...]

Latin America
[The English article is not available in Open Access. Nevertheless, you can find a Spanish version free of access and free of charge]

This artcile provides a comparative analysis of inclusive [...]

"This policy brief uses data from censuses and household surveys in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region to analyze the gaps in school attendance and completion rates between children and youth with and without disabilities. We find that children and youth with disabilities are less likely to attend school and to complete key levels of education, such as secondary [...]

Starting in 2020, this new website by Unesco provides education profiles of countries worldwide with a focus on the respective themes of the Global Education monitoring Report (GEM Report). The first theme is inclusion. Forthcoming themes include equitable finance and provision and regulation of non-state actors in education, the [...]

For October 2020, Unesco is planning a supplement to its annual Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM) in the form of a special report on inclusive education in Latin America and the Caribbean. As soon as the report is published we will link it here. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]


During the last 10 years (2007-2017) a lot of research and empirical studies have been carried out on the implementation of inclusive education in higher education institutions in Latin America. These researches and studies are analyzed in this article. The analysis is based on the documentary method and uses articles, theses and reports. The author addresses typical issues [...]

Introduction to the book "Inclusive Education in Latin America: Policies, Research, and Experience" (2016). The aim of the publication is to communicate research on strategies of inclusive education in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico to society. All countries mentioned have recent experience in implementing inclusive education strategies. The book contains [...]

The regional Latin American network for inclusive education "RREI Latinoamérica" published the booklet "Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education): Indicators for not leaving persons with disabilities behind" in 2018. The publication deals with the lack of information and data on education for people with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean. [...]

Central America; Latin America; South America; Caribbean
The online library of the "Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean" (CEPAL / ECLAC) of the United Nations provides information on "Disability and Social Inclusion" in this research guide (available only in Spanish). The site lists links to publications, data, statistics, [...]

Political Frame

Central America; Latin America; South America; Spain
Very rich website of the "Ibero-American Intergovernmental Cooperation Network for the Education of People with Special Educational Needs (RIINEE)". RIINEE was created in December 2004 on the occasion of the "1st Meeting on Educational Cooperation with Ibero-America on Special Education and [...]

Central America; Latin America; South America
With its portal SIETAL (information system on educational trends in Latin America), the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) provides information on inclusion and educational justice. You will find the original documents of political measures and legal regulations [...]

Central America; Latin America; South America
This website provides an overview of a project (ca. 2007-2016) on the cooperation of the Central American (and partly Ibero-American) countries in the field of inclusive education. You will find a chronology of important events in educational policy as well as important official documents, [...]

Latin America; Caribbean
The Spanish pdf document linked here lists all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean that ratified the "UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" (CRPD). You will find the date of the signature and the date of the ratification - of the convention and the optional protocol. Countries that are not [...]

"Inclusive education is, without any doubt, one of the key issues on the agenda of education policies in Latin America in 2010. This is a relatively recent concept, but in the last few years it has gone through some serious changes. It has extended its entity and significance, and more familiar terms in the area of education policies such as quality, equity, access, diversity, [...]

This report was presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in November 2009. It was published by the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) in collaboration with the then United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Vernor Muñoz, and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). The report outlines the educational [...]

"One of the phenomena that concerns education policy most is immigration since it is the origin of new educational needs. The concept of inclusive education can provide an answer to these new needs. The following research examines how this issue is treated in Latin American educational legislation. To this end, we assessed the intercultural values of inclusive education in 19 [...]

Networks, Organisations

Central America; Latin America; South America
The pdf document lists Latin American organisations that focus on inclusive education and/ or children with disabilities. The list is sorted by country. It was provided by the Argentinian non-governmental "Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC)" [...]

Central America; Latin America; South America
The "Regional Network for Inclusive Education (RREI)" is a coalition of Latin American organisations of and for people with disabilities that aim at promoting inclusive education. The website provides a list of all member organisations in Latin America, information on the status of inclusion in the [...]

Central America; Latin America; South America
The "Regional Observatory for Inclusive Education" tracks and documents the status and development of inclusive education in Latin America. The website offers extensive information and resources. You can view them either by category or by country. The categories of observation include: data and [...]

Central America; Latin America; South America; Spain
Very rich website of the "Ibero-American Intergovernmental Cooperation Network for the Education of People with Special Educational Needs (RIINEE)". RIINEE was created in December 2004 on the occasion of the "1st Meeting on Educational Cooperation with Ibero-America on Special Education and [...]

Website of the national Mexican network for inclusive education and family. The website mainly provides information on its vision, mission and objectives as well as on the members of the six thematic areas including their contact emails. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Research on Inclusion

Searches were carried out on the Internet using relevant key words such as "inclusión", "centro", "investigación", "América Latina" and similar words. It is a coincidence that two of the three centres linked here are located in Chile. There may be further research centres in other Latin American countries that our internet search has not yet found. If you are aware of any of these, we invite you to write to cohen at and tell us about it.

This special issue provides an overview of research on inclusive education in Latin America and Spain until 2014. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide].

Central America; Latin America; South America
Website of the "Latin American Study Centre for Inclusive Education (CELEI)" in Chile. Unfortunately, the website is somewhat confusing and many parts lead to empty pages. Nevertheless, you get an idea of the research work done by the centre. You can find news on inclusive education in Latin [...]

Website of the "Research Centre for Inclusive Education" in Chile. Several universities participate in the work of the centre. The website provides information on the centre's 9 thematic research areas, on publications and some fulltexts. Furthermore, a short introduction into the centre's work is provided in English. [Abstract: Editors [...]

Website of the national Mexican network for inclusive education and family. The website mainly provides information on its vision, mission and objectives as well as on the members of the six thematic areas including their contact emails. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Literature, Journals

Collections of Documents

Central America; Latin America; South America; Spain
"Riberdis (Repositorio IBERoamericano sobre DIScapacidad) is an Iberian-American repository for literature on disability. It summarizes and disseminates the scientific production generated in Latin America and Spain on subjects related to disability, in a digital format and in free [...]

Only the English publications are listed here. For ther languages you have to reste the filter. The Unesco Digital Library provides access to publications, documents and other materials either produced by Unesco or pertaining to Unesco’s fields of competence. Most of them are accessible online for free. [Abstract: Editors of [...]

Latin America; South America
This is a list of results from the World Bank's publications' database / repository. The publications are available in open access and for free. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]


This is the record of the journal in the German database for e-journals. You will find several links leading to the Open Access journal in question.

Journal of the research centre "Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos de Educación Inclusiva (CELEI)" in Chile.This is the record of the journal in the German database for e-journals. You will find several links leading to the Open Access journal in question.

Individual Articles

"Who are people with disabilities [in Latin America]? For far too long the answer to this question has been to focus on the health conditions of a person, but what if a new conceptual framework facilitated inclusion? In this interactive note, you will learn the social model of disability; why inclusion is a legal, moral and economic imperative; as well as concrete practices of [...]

"This study was carried out on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Social Policy and Sport (MEPSYD), the ONCE Foundation for Solidarity with Blind People in Latin America (FOAL) and the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI). They consider it substantial to have a baseline on aspects related to the current situation of access to [...]

"Latin America and the Caribbean are characterized by great inequality in the distribution of material and symbolic goods and by having highly stratified societies. Making fairer and cohesive societies requires progress towards fairer education systems which guarantee quality education for everyone, and towards more inclusive schools which educate students from different [...]

"In July 2018, the Department of Social Inclusion of the Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity of the Organization of American States (OAS) proposed to the Regional Network for Inclusive Education (RREI Latin America) the joint holding of a cycle of virtual seminars on different relevant topics to guarantee inclusion of people with disabilities in regular schools and [...]

Events, Conferences

Most of the events listed here are in the past. However, they have been linked here for documentation purposes. They give an idea of the way in which inclusion has been discusses in Latin America so far. Some websites also provide more detailed information on presentations, presenters and more. 

The events are sorted chronologically, with the latest at the top.

Beginning 01.10.2019

UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) members from around the world have the opportunity to exchange and discuss effective lifelong learning policies and practices at the International Conference on Learning Cities (ICLC). The aim of the conference in 2019 was to identify, discuss and promote effective lifelong learning policies and practices that support the [...]

Beginning 11.09.2019

In 2019, the Unesco International Forum celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first conference of this kind, the UNESCO World Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality. This first conference produced the well-known Salamanca Statement, which mentioned inclusion as one of the main goals of international education policy. The 2019 anniversary conference [...]

Beginning 13.12.2018

"The International Meeting on Inclusive Education Frontera Sur took place on 13 and 14 December 2018. It was organized by the Zone 7 of the Ministry of Education in Ecuador. Around 5,000 people participated in face-to-face and virtual events.The conference was attended by specialists in educational inclusion from Peru, Colombia, Chile, Spain, the Dominican [...]

Beginning 23.06.2018

The event was organised by the "Regional Network for Inclusive Education (in Latin America)", RREI. The theme of theconference was "Inclusive Education in Latin America: strategies for the influence of civil society". The site provides a short summary and a link to the video recording of the whole meeting (youtube). [Abstract: Editors of Education [...]

Beginning 05.04.2017

Summary of the conference on inclusive education policies for indigenous peoples, including several documents:Agenda (English)Concept note (in Spanish)Document "Indigenous Knowledge and practices in Education in Latin America. Exploratory analysis of how indigenous cultural worldviews and concepts influence regional educational policy"Education 2030E2030 Meeting. [...]

Beginning 13.10.2016

"Inclusive Education appears as the possibility of building a society in which all citizens are recognized and participate, eliminating all kinds of social, economic and cultural exclusions.The growing diversity of today's society and its progressive complexity demand analysis and reflection on the role of the school institution and that of education.In this context, the [...]

Beginning 23.10.2014

The theme of the conference was inclusive education. The conference was streamed. The stream can still be found in the university's youtube channel. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Costa Rica
Beginning 27.05.2010

"The theme of the VI International Meeting for Inclusive Education was 'And what about ethics?' It took place from May 27th to 29th 2010. The strategies and measures that characterise the transition from integration to inclusion were analysed taking into special account the values ​​and attitudes that promote their realisation.Some of the topics dealt with [...]

Beginning 18.11.2009

The website announces the meeting and provides access to three documents:Provisional programme of the Meeting (PDF, 50 KB), in Spanish (PDF, 50 KB)"La Educación Inclusiva, perspectiva internacional y retos de futuro" by R. Opertti (PDF, 130 KB, in Spanish)"La educación inclusiva en América Latina y el Caribe: Un análisis [...]

Inclusion in Latin America in other areas of society

The following few examples present the issue of inclusion in areas of society other than education and towards people with disabilities. The categorisation we used here is a very rough one. It aims at providing a small insight into the different issues in which inclusion is further being negotiated in Latin America. Of course, in reality, different areas of inclusion and experiences of exclusion overlap. The intersectionality inherent in the subject is very obvious in the titles of the following two example articles:

"Fiscal Redistribution and Ethnoracial Inequality in Bolivia, Brazil, and Guatemala" (Lustig 2017), that deals with double discrimination (and therefore the lack of inclusion)  in financial and ethnical terms;

and "Information and communications technologies for the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean" (Ullmann et al 2018), that deals with digital inclusion as well as with the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

indigenous people (ethnic inclusion)

"In this paper, we analyze the status of Latin American indigenous communities and factors affecting their social inclusion. We begin with an assessment of the size of the indigenous population in each country; we emphasize its rich diversity, and we look at dependency rates and aging. In the second section, we focus on the incidence of poverty,and in the third section, we [...]

"This article investigates how indigenous movements in Latin America promote the political inclusion of historically marginalized indigenous groups. I argue that the social pressure produced by a strong movement promotes the inclusion of indigenous representatives in formal leadership positions. However, this effect depends on both the movement’s internal unity and the [...]

equity / inequality (social inclusion)

"This special issue seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate on inequality and inclusion in Latin America and beyond, from a contemporary perspective that takes into account the many ramifications and intrinsic complexity of inequality and inclusion, as well their intellectual history.(...) it attempts to capture the complexity of today’s debates around inequality by [...]

"Cities in Latin America have the highest inequality between rich and poor worldwide, but the gaps are slowly shrinking, finds the study 'Building more equitable cities: public policies for inclusion in Latin America' (...). It contains data on inequality in over 300 cities in Latin America and the Caribbean and compares evolutions over two decades (1990-2010). What are [...]

"This report gives an overview of the state of social inclusion in LAC countries [Latin America and the Carribean), highlighting the forces – both internal and external – that contribute to the persistence of inequalities in such a heterogeneous region. By recognising the deficiencies in regional redistributive systems and the [...]

digital gap (digital inclusion)

"Connecting more than 200 million Latin Americans who remain off-line poses a complex challenge, requiring not only technological and commercial innovations, but also new models of collaboration between governments and the private sector. (...) The aim of this document is to provide evidence and policy recommendations on how to address this challenge. The findings provide many [...]

"One of the priorities of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is to overcome the gap between "connected" or digitally included individuals and “unconnected" or digitally excluded individuals. This situation, (...), consists of the small possibility that a considerable segment of the population has to access and effectively use Information and Communication Technologies [...]

Financial inclusion

"This study presents a general overview of financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. We employ data for the three dimensions: access, use and quality, which outline a complete picture of the nature and characteristics of financial inclusion in the region. This information is essential for identifying weaknesses in financial market development and serves as a [...]

Last Update: 01.02.2021  -

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