Recognizing and Respecting the Rights of Children with Disabilities in the Classroom

Cornelia Schneider

Abstract


The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and ratified in 1990 by the UN
General Assembly, and signed by most member countries of the United Nations. However, its
implementation is slow, complex, and can to-date be considered as incomplete in most
countries, particularly as children’s rights often seem to be in contradiction with traditional
perceptions of children as dependent, immature and incompetent human beings under their
parents’ tutelage. Furthermore, it appears that children’s rights are at risk of colliding with the
rights of the family. These issues are even more strongly highlighted when it comes to
children with disabilities, as those children often are perceived as vulnerable and incompetent.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2006 emphasizes the right
to full participation based on the social model of disability, including the right to inclusive
education for children with disabilities. This article addresses both conventions, the
contradictions within but also with each other, which impede the rights of children with
disabilities as much as traditional perceptions of childhood do. It will then demonstrate how
the recognition of the rights of children with disabilities can be improved by using the
frameworks of sociology of childhood (Corsaro, 2015) and the work on relationship building
and solidarity by Honneth (1995). Lastly, the article will give examples of how to implement
and respect the rights of children with disabilities in schools, by using the example of the
Index for Inclusion.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ije.v8i3.9444

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