UNESCO's action in the field of inclusive education has been set explicitly within the 'inclusive education' framework adopted at the Salamanca Conference in 1994:

"... Schools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, emotional, social, linguistic or other conditions." (Article 3, Salamanca Framework for Action)

"Regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building and inclusive society and achieving education for all; moreover, they provide an effective education to the majority of children and improve the efficiency and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of the entire education system." (Article 2, Salamanca Statement)

This framework stems from the messages of the Jomtien World Declaration on Education for All (1990) and was reaffirmed in the Dakar Framework for Action (2000):

“… In order to attract and retain children from marginalized and excluded groups, education systems should respond flexibly… Education systems must be inclusive, actively seeking out children who are not enrolled, and responding flexibly to the circumstances and needs of all learners…” (Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments. Expanded Commentary on the Dakar Framework for Action, Para 33)

Concurrently 'inclusive education' is a transverse issue which cuts across all education initiatives - from early childhood education to primary education, vocational education, adult education, teacher education and curriculum development - as well as in spheres related culture and social development.

Main Lines of Action