THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION NEEDS TO STRENGTHEN SUPPORT AND AMENITIES FOR DISABLED CHILDREN IN THE EUROPEAN SCHOOLS
OPEN LETTER TO COMMISSIONER OETTINGER
Brussels, 30 January 2019
European Schools, a network of 13 intergovernmental schools primarily teaching children of European Union employees, do not do enough to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities, Human Rights Watch and the European Disability Forum said in a joint report released recently (January 2019).
The EU and its 28 Member States have yet ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which guarantees children with disabilities the right to inclusive education.
Despite states’ obligations under the convention, European Schools allow the exclusion of children on the basis of disability. Their Policy on the Provision of Educational Support states that “European Schools do not offer a fully inclusive education system…. [T]he school is entitled to declare itself unable to meet the needs of the pupil.”
Human Rights Watch documented the cases of 12 children and a young adult with a range of disabilities enrolled in five European Schools (four in Brussels and one in Luxembourg) or whose application for enrolment was rejected. These cases shed light on a number of structural issues in the European School system, which also affect students in other European Schools… European Schools – Too little support for children with disabilities...