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Convention / Treaty
UNESCO, Ministry of Education and Science Spain
More than 300 participants representing 92 governments and 25 international organizations met in Salamanca, Spain, from 7 to 10 June 1994 to further the objective of Education for All by considering the fundamental policy shifts required to promote the approach of inclusive education, namely enabling schools to serve all children, particularly those with special educational needs.Organized by the Government of Spain in co-operation with UNESCO, the Conference brought together senior education officials, administrators, policy-makers and specialists, as well as representatives of the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies,other international governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and donor agencies.
The Conference adopted the Salamanca Statement on Principles, Policy and Practice in Special Needs Education and a Framework for Action.
These documents are informed by the principle of inclusion, by recognition of the need to work towards “schools for all” - institutions which include everybody, celebrate differences, support learning, and respond to individual needs.
As such, they constitute an important contribution to the agenda for achieving Education, for All and for making schools educationally more effective.Special needs education - an issue of equal concern to countries of the North and of the South - cannot advance in isolation. It has to form part of an overall educational strategy and, indeed, a new social and economic policies.
It calls for major reform of the ordinary school.
These documents represent a worldwide consensus on future directions for special needs education. UNESCO is proud to be associated with this Conference and its important conclusions.
All concerned must now rise to the challenge and work to ensure that Education for All effectively means FOR ALL, particularly those who are most vulnerable and most in need.
The future is not fated,but will be fashioned by our values, thoughts and actions. Our success in the years ahead will depend not so much on what we do as what we achieve.
It is my hope that all readers of this document will help to enact the recommendations of the Salamanca Conference by endeavouring to translate its message into practice within their respective fields of responsibility.