Persons with disabilities in Brazil

©UNESCO/Stafford Ondego

More than a billion of people in the world live with some kind of deficiency. Among them, almost 93 million are children. In Brazil, there are over 45 million of people – which represent almost 24% of the Brazilian population – living with some kind of deficiency.

The societies distinctly perceive the kinds of deficiency and the limited capacity of social and governmental stakeholders to accommodate special needs, many times living them aside.  The persons with disabilities daily experience inequalities in their lives. They have fewer opportunities to have access to quality education and to develop themselves in an inclusive environment. 

UNESCO supports various International Human Rights Treaties and Conventions that defend the right to education for all people, among them are: the Article 26 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1946), the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960), the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), and the Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights to Persons with Disabilities (2006).

Through the rights based approach UNESCO promotes policies, programmes and practices in the area of inclusive education to ensure equal educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. Some action areas are:

  • Promoting effective practices and sharing knowledge through various data based platforms, such as the Educação Inclusiva em Ação (Inclusive Education in Action) developed in cooperation with the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and the Building inclusive societies - online knowledge community.
  • Creating institutional partnerships through the Education task force of the Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities linked to UNICEF and UNESCO, which aims at providing orientations to State Members on the implementation of the Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights to Persons with Disabilities.
  • Strengthening the capacity to develop guidelines and tools that are capable to help build an inclusive educational environment, as well as teacher training and information and communication technologies on education for persons with disabilities.
  • Advocating the right to education on the occasions of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities that is celebrated annually on 3 December. Also advocating the launch of the UNESCO Prize Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah every semester to promote quality education for persons with mental defficiency. The prize awards the individuals, groups, organizations and centres that actively promote inclusive education.



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