Using courts and litigation for the right to Inclusive Education
- Country of Implementation
- Western Europe
- First published
“For the right of all children to Inclusive Education – even when it takes a judge to open a school door!” Ms. Agnes van Wijnen, Project Manager, In1School
Even though there have been positive changes in the country’s education laws, there is still a growing number of children in the Netherlands who do not have access to education at all and many children with disabilities still attend schools for special education. They are also hindered in their attempt to get proper support for higher education and, consequently, as adults they find themselves confronted with unemployment and a life near the poverty line.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
To address this situation, project members currently provide a variety of activities. First of all, they collect evidence in the form of cases and data of educational exclusion in order to develop an effective litigation strategy. They also team up with national and international lawyers who are experienced in the field of human rights. Staff members carry on research concerning Dutch law to highlight how the current legal system fails to guarantee the right of all children to an effective and Inclusive Education, and they communicate their findings via the web, social and traditional media, etc. By networking and sharing information, they provide support to parents and professionals in their efforts to change Dutch education laws and practices through litigation, where necessary. Staff members also support parents who are struggling to enrol or keep their children in regular education; and they empower them by providing information on what Inclusive Education should look like. In1School seeks to combine these various activities to maximize their effect, and works with key organizations, networks, and individuals who are able to enlarge the results.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The project team currently executes a co-financing strategy to support them throughout an active litigation process – for example, in the form of pro-bono legal support, interns to conduct field research and provide assistance, as well as support from other organizations. Going forward, the team wants to explore the possibility of crowd funding strategies as well. In future, further close relationships will be created with relevant partners to secure the legal right for all to an Inclusive Education.