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The Council of Europe condemns France for discrimination against people with autism in education

The Council of Europe has condemned France for failing to fulfil its educational obligations to people with autism under the European Social Charter.

This decision upheld the collective complaint that disability organisations had lodged against the French Government concerning the schooling of children and vocational training of young adults with autism.

The relevant laws related to education in France were analysed by the European Committee of Social Rights, which concluded that:

  • There is a violation of Article 15.1 of the European Social Charter:
  • With regard to the right of children and adolescents with autism to be educated primarily in mainstream schools;
  • With regard to the right of young persons with autism to vocational training;
  • Because the work done in specialised institutions caring for children and adolescents with autism is not predominantly educational in nature.
  • There is a violation of Article E taken in conjunction with Article 15.1, because families have no other choice than to leave the national territory in order to educate their children with autism in a specialised school, which constitutes a direct discrimination against them.
  • There is a violation of Article E taken in conjunction with Article 15.1, because the limited funds in the State‚Äôs social budget for the education of children and adolescents with autism indirectly disadvantages these persons with disabilities.

In Resolution CM/ResChS(2014)2, the Council of Europe calls on France to report on its progress towards improvement in these areas.

View the resolution (English only)