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Iran: Schools Shut Out Children with Disabilities Says Human Rights Watch

Disabled schoolgirl looking at camera and sitting at desk in classroom

Children with disability face discrimination and significant barriers in getting an education in Iran, Human Rights Watch and the Centre  for Human Rights in Iran said in a joint report issued earlier this month  as the school year begins.

The 52-page report documents discrimination and barriers to education in the country’s public school system for most children with disabilities. A major obstacle is a mandatory government medical test that can exclude them from education altogether, the groups found. Additional barriers include inaccessible school buildings, discriminatory attitudes of school staff, and lack of adequate training for teachers and school administrators in inclusive education methods.

Human Rights Watch and the Centre for Human Rights in Iran interviewed 37 people in Iran, including children with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, activists, and government officials.

Children with disabilities have the right to a quality inclusive education in which children with and without disabilities study together in mainstream schools with necessary support. Inclusive education is key to reducing stigma and promoting the rights of people with disabilities throughout their lives, the groups said.

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