Towards inclusion in education: status, trends and challenges: the UNESCO Salamanca Statement 25 years on

Pencils with different colours illustrating diversity
This publication is an output of the International Forum on inclusion and equity in education held in Cali, Colombia in September 2019. The year 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Special Needs Education. Held in the city of Salamanca, the conference led to the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education. The principles elaborated in Salamanca have set the foundation for understanding the importance of inclusion in education. Since then, the concept of inclusion has broadened, emphasizing the need to reach all learners, on the assumption that every learner matters equally and has the right to receive relevant, quality, equitable and effective educational opportunities.

The publication looks at the past, present and future since Salamanca to guide the further development of inclusive national policies and practices. It explains the way that confusion regarding what is meant by key terms such as inclusion and equity has often made progress difficult. It also shows how more recent international policy documents have helped to bring greater clarity to discussions of these concepts. The publication addresses the following questions:

How can we advance legislation, policies, programs and practices that ensure inclusion and equity in education? • What actions must governments take to translate principles into practice in order to ensure inclusive learning environments? • What recommendations can help to foster inclusion and equity in education?