Legal issues

The new anti-discriminatory climate has provided the basis for much change in policy and statute, nationally and internationally. Inclusion has been enshrined at the same time that segregation and discrimination have been rejected. Articulations of the new developments in ways of thinking, in policy and in law include:

    The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which sets out children’s rights in respect of freedom from discrimination and in respect of the representation of their wishes and views.
    The UNESCO Salamanca Statement (1994) which calls on all governments to give the highest priority to inclusive education.
    The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) which calls on all States Parties to ensure an inclusive education system at all levels.

For schools in the United States, the federal requirement that students be educated in the least restrictive environment that is reasonable encourages the implementation of inclusion for some students.