South Africa should prioritize implementing inclusive education for children with disabilities

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Item 6 UPR adoption

We urge the South Africa authorities to take action to fulfil all commitments on recommendations received during its third UPR cycle, including prevention of xenophobia or other forms of intolerance and violence against women. The government should finalize the national action plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and provide a mechanism for justice and accountability for xenophobic crimes. Despite the country’s progressive legislation on the rights of LGBT people, discrimination remains institutionalized in families, communities, and in the behaviour of some government officials, such as police, some health care workers, and educators.

In line with commitments made during its 2012 UPR, South Africa should ensure that all law enforcement officials have adequate training in human rights and public order policing, particularly in dealing with xenophobic crimes, LGBT crimes, violence against women, and public protests.

Moreover, South Africa should re-affirm its support and commitment to the International Criminal Court   for the protection of human rights and the fight against impunity. The country should work within the ICC to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the ICC in successfully addressing war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Human Rights Watch notes the recommendations calling on South Africa to prioritize implementing inclusive education for children with disabilities. Over half a million children with disabilities remain out of school across the country. We therefore call on South Africa to accept these recommendations, and to expedite efforts to ensure children with disabilities have an equal right to education, by ensuring children with disabilities are not discriminated against, in policy and practice, when accessing all levels of education.

South Africa should also urgently publish accurate data on how many children and young people with disabilities are out of school; and ensure children with disabilities access free, quality basic education by removing fees and additional costs in public special schools, and ensuring mainstream schools do not leverage additional fees to accommodate students with disabilities.

Recommendations:

  • Finalize and fully implement the national action plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
  • Ensure that all law enforcement officials receive adequate training in human rights and public order policing, particularly in dealing with xenophobic crimes, LGBT crimes, violence against women, and public protests.
  • Reaffirm support and commitment to the International Criminal Court.
  • Publish accurate data on how many children and young people with disabilities are out of school; and ensure children with disabilities access free, quality basic education by removing fees and additional costs in public special schools, and ensuring mainstream schools do not leverage additional fees to accommodate students with disabilities.
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