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UN Human Rights Council – 23rd Session
Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on education
Statement by Australia, 31 May 2013
Australia welcomes the report of the Special rapporteur on the right to education.
Australia agrees that the right to education is often least accessible to those who need it most and believes that all children deserve an education that meets their needs regardless of what school they go to or where they live.
Australia has implemented comprehensive legislation that provides a framework for the provision of education services, including free and compulsory primary and secondary education. Importantly, we also have legislation in place to ensure that education is provided free from discrimination.
Under the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative, Australia provides additional funding to government and non-government education authorities to support services for students with disabilities or learning difficulties. Australia remains committed to reducing disadvantage in education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by putting in place policies and delivering programs that work towards halving the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements within a decade and halving the gap in year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates by 2020.
Australia’s national human rights institution plays a central role in promoting the right to education. In addition, the Australian Human Rights Commission is able to receive and investigate complaints about alleged breaches of human rights, including those rights contained in international human rights instruments to which Australia is a party. Australian also has an independent judicial system that is well-equipped to deal with breaches of legislation.
Australia would welcome the Special Rapporteur’s views on ways Australia can contribute to the development of international standards for education for children with disabilities.
Australia looks forward to continuing its engagement with the Special Rapporteur.