23.01.2017 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities to Quality Education

The First Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) Meeting promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (CWDs) to Quality Education was organized on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 at UNESCO House, New Delhi. The meeting was part of UNESCO’s project 'Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities to Quality Education' under the United Nations Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD). UNESCO is one of the three partners of this Multi Partner Trust Fund project working alongside UNICEF and MGIEP to support the full implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD). 

The main purpose of UNESCO’s project has been to promote the Rights of CWDs to Quality Education through the effective implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD 2016), the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE, 2009) and the UNCRPD by facilitating the creation of focal points at different levels and sectors in the government through the formation of the IAWG as a coordination mechanism.

The meeting was attended by over twenty participants from diverse backgrounds working in the field of disability rights and included representatives from line ministries, government institutions, civil society organizations and UN agencies. It provided a platform to discuss how the different stakeholders can come together to work for the promotion of disability rights and support the Government of India in realization of its vision set out in the national laws and the country’s international obligations.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and Representative, UNESCO New Delhi said that the creation of the IAWG is aligned to Article 33 of the UNCRPD that requires Member States to establish coordination mechanisms within the Government and at different levels for facilitating related actions in different sectors. He remarked that the meeting was taking place at an opportune moment as education and Rights of CWDs are a high priority on the national and international agenda. He further highlighted the country’s achievement with regard to the recent passing of the RPWD Bill 2016.

The Government of India has been working closely with the UN family in India for preparing United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) and inclusive quality education has been recognized as a top priority in the 2018-2022 agenda.

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