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7 Laws 1 (2018)

handle is hein.journals/laws7 and id is 1 raw text is: 



Unveiling the Challenges in the Implementation of

Article 24 CRPD on the Right to Inclusive Education.

A   Case-Study from Italy

Delia Ferri
Department  of Law, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland; delia.ferri@mu.ie
Received: 23 October 2017; Accepted: 18 December 2017; Published: 25 December 2017

Abstract:  Since the 1970s, Italy has undertaken a process of inclusion of children with disabilities in
mainstream   schools, has implemented an anti-discriminatory educational policy, and abandoned
segregated  educational practices. In September 2014, the Italian Government initiated a process of
modernization  of the whole educational system, and attempted to fully align domestic legislation
with  the wide-ranging obligations enshrined in Article 24 CRPD. Law No. 107/2015 on the reform of
the  educational system empowered the Government  to adopt legislative decrees to promote inter alia
an  effective and inclusive education for persons with disabilities. After a long and somewhat troubled
process, a legislative decree on inclusive education was finally adopted in April 2017. This article,
building  upon previous research, critically discusses the innovations brought by this recent reform,
situating them  in the broader Italian legislative framework on the rights of people with disabilities.
By   focusing on Italy as a case-study, this article aims to reflect on the challenges surrounding the
creation of an inclusionary educational system that goes beyond a mere integration in mainstream
schools  and ensures full and effective participation of all learners, meeting the standards imposed by
Article 24 CRPD.

Keywords:   UN  Convention  on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; inclusive education; support
teacher; Law  No 104/1992; Law No  107/2015; legislative decree No 66/2017

1. Introduction

     Italy has long implemented an anti-discriminatory educational policy, and abandoned segregated
practices in education, by advancing a policy known as school integration (integrazione scolastica)
since the 1970s (Caldin 2013). As noted elsewhere (Ferri 2017), even before the ratification of the
UN  Convention  on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), in 2009,1 the Italian legislative
and policy framework  was characterised by a relatively high standard of protection of the right to
education of pupils with disabilities (Rossi et al. 2016; Addis 2015; Troilo 2012, 2016; Bu  tt 2016;
Pns 2014). Despite a progressive legal   framework,  however, numerous   shortfalls have slowly
emerged  in the Italian school system. In the last few years, several complaints have been brought to
court by parents of pupils with disabilities seeking to enforce the right to education, to combat alleged
discrimination of disabled pupils at school, and ultimately to challenge the lack of implementation or
the incorrect implementation of the legislation in place. The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (CRPD Committee), in its Concluding Observations (COs) to the Italian Initial Report
on the implementation  of the Convention (CRPD  Committee  2016a), while commending   Italy for

1  Law of 3 March 2009 No 18 'Ratifica ed esecuzione della Convenzione delle Nazioni Unite sui diritti delle persone con disabilita, con
   Protocollo opzionalefatta a New York il 13 dicembre 2006 e istituzione dell'Osservatorio nazionale sulla condizione delle persone con
   disabilita' in Gazzetta Ufficiale (OJ) of 14 March 2009 No 6.

Laws 2018, 7, 1; doi:10.3390/laws7010001


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