MDAC asks UN treaty body to include children with disabilities when examining Bulgaria

On Monday, 5 December 2011, MDAC sent a formal submission to, and met with members of, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). The submission sought to influence the Committee’s “list of issues” before its formal examination of Bulgaria’s compliance with the on International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in May 2012. The submission focused on the right to education for children with disabilities who reside in social care institutions and who are excluded from the education system in Bulgaria.

Intervention now is crucial, as the Bulgarian government is drafting a new Education Law which should end this longstanding human rights violation.  MDAC urged the Committee to press the Bulgarian government for details about how this new legislation will ensure that the school system is structured and funded in a way which will guarantee the right to inclusive education for all children, including those who remain in institutional care.

MDAC’s submission also asks the CESCR to recommend that Bulgaria ratifies the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabilities. Bulgaria remains one of the few EU Member States which has not yet ratified the disability-specific treaty.

In a discussion following the briefing in Geneva on Monday, MDAC had the opportunity to reiterate the elements of inclusive education. MDAC is glad to have the opportunity to address the CESCR, as it is committed to mainstreaming disability throughout the UN treaty body system in order to ensure a holistic approach towards disability, especially where international standards intersect as is the case with education. An example of our work from earlier this year is our parallel report with regards the Czech Republic to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which led to that Committee issuing strong concluding observations about inclusive education.

For more information on our work on inclusive education, or for questions relating to UN treaty body monitoring, implementation and reform processes, please contact Ngila Bevan, MDAC Project Manager – UN Litigation and Advocacy,

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