Skip to main content
General comments and recommendations

General comment No. 4 on Article 24 - the right to inclusive education


25 November 2016

UN symbol


Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


The Committee, at its 12th session in September 2014, decided to devote one day of its 13th session to a general discussion on the right to education for persons with disabilities on 15 April 2015.

At its 14th session, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities decided to make a call for written input regarding its draft of general comment no. 4 on the right to inclusive education, article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Recognition of inclusion as the key to achieving the right to education has strengthened over the past 30 years and is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first legally binding instrument to contain a reference to the concept of quality inclusive education. Sustainable Development Goal 4 too affirms the value of inclusive, quality and equitable education.

Despite the progress achieved, however, the Committee is concerned that profound challenges persist. Many millions of persons with disabilities continue to be denied the right to education.

Ensuring the right to inclusive education entails a transformation in culture, policy and practice in all formal and informal educational environments to accommodate the differing requirements and identities of individual students, together with a commitment to removing the barriers that impede that possibility. It involves strengthening the capacity of the education system to reach out to all learners. It focuses on the full and effective participation, accessibility, attendance and achievement of all students, especially those who, for different reasons, are excluded or at risk of being marginalized.

Inclusion involves access to and progress in high-quality formal and informal education without discrimination. Inclusion seeks to enable communities, systems and structures to combat discrimination, including harmful stereotypes, recognize diversity, promote participation and overcome barriers to learning and participation for all by focusing on the well-being and success of students with disabilities. It requires an in-depth transformation of education systems in legislation, policy and the mechanisms for financing, administering, designing, delivering and monitoring education.