Questioning Human Rights: The Case of Education for Children and Youth with Disabilities in Ethiopia

  • Hisayo KatsuiEmail author
  • Elina Lehtomaki
  • Abebe Yehualawork Malle
  • Shuaib Chalklen
Part of the International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice book series (IPSPAP)


This chapter focuses on the politics of education as a basic human right. We analyze the challenges and opportunities implied in realizing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and operationalizing the human rightsbased approach to disability (HRBAD) with a case study on the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in the regular education system of Ethiopia. The existing situation is highlighted with lived experiences of persons with disabilities and comments by organisations of persons with disabilities, education professionals, and government officials who were interviewed between August and October 2013 in Ethiopia. When successful, the HRBAD and its critical analysis bring about transformation in theory and practice. Inequality, however, may be reinforced or even increased unless duty-bearers in the Global South and North increase their capacity, dialogue and change their paradigm from ‘intervention effectiveness’ to ‘development effectiveness’, thereby encompassing inequality reduction as a central objective. This chapter concludes with an introduction of the promising role played by African persons with disabilities themselves through the newly established African Disability Forum in collaboration with the African Union and other international stakeholders.


Human rights Education UNCRPD Children Ethiopia Inclusion Inclusive education 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hisayo Katsui
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elina Lehtomaki
    • 2
  • Abebe Yehualawork Malle
    • 2
  • Shuaib Chalklen
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Helsinki and Abilis FoundationHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  3. 3.Independent ResearcherSouth AfricaSouth Africa

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