Ensuring that each individual has an equal opportunity for educational progress remains a challenge worldwide. Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education and the Education 2030 Framework for Action emphasize inclusion and equity as laying the foundations for quality education.
The UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) and other international human rights treaties prohibit any exclusion from, or limitation to, educational opportunities on the basis of socially-ascribed or perceived differences, such as by sex, ethnic/social origin, language, religion, nationality, economic condition, ability.
Reaching excluded and marginalized groups and providing them with quality education requires the development and implementation of inclusive policies and programmes.
In this context, UNESCO promotes inclusive education systems that remove the barriers limiting the participation and achievement of all learners, respect diverse needs, abilities and characteristics and that eliminate all forms of discrimination in the learning environment.
UNESCO works with governments and partners to address exclusion from, and inequality in, education. Among marginalized and vulnerable groups, UNESCO pays special attention to children with disabilities as they are overrepresented in the population of those who are not in education. Indigenous people also continue to experience exclusion within and from education.
Theme page: Inclusion in education