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Opposing support school undermines principle of equality

Graphic: School bus on street

The Commission has urged cities and provinces across Korea to take active steps to establish support schools.

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has said that opposing the establishment of a support school for children with disabilities in Gangseo District in Seoul is in violation of the spirit of equality under the Constitution.

In addition, it urged the Minister of Education and Mayors and Superintendents of cities and provinces across the country to make active efforts to establish support schools.

It also urged the Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government and Head of Gangseo District to take steps to build understanding of local residents about the rights of people with disabilities in order to prevent future incidents that exclude them.

The Commission's Disability Discrimination Rectification Committee noted concluded that current levels of overcrowding in classes does not guarantee the right to education for students with disabilities.

Other students with disabilities face long-distance commutes to go to school, which not only undermines their right to education but also their rights to health and security.

As a result, a significant number of students with disabilities receive their education at home because of a lack of suitable facilities in their area, which indicates that various arms of government are not fulfilling their responsibilities to these young people.

As of 2016, 87,950 students across Korea were receiving supported education and, of this number, 30% were registered at 170 support schools. However, only 84.1% of the schools comply with the maximum number of students.

In addition, there are 29 support schools in Seoul where 4,496 students with disabilities receive education. However, eight districts do not have support schools which can result in some students commuting for up to two or three hours.

Date: 17 October 2017

Source: National Human Rights Commission of Korea

Image credits

  1. School bus on street - petrr, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2gWZ2Hd