Al Mezan Center for Human Rights appealed to the Palestinian High Court on February 14th to compel the Palestinian Cabinet and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Education to accept the legal need for the deaf to participate in the ordinary school system.
It is worth noting that deaf children cannot resume schooling after the age of seven, and are not admitted into Palestinian schools, which constitute a grave breach of their legal rights and negatively affects their general status.
Preventing deaf children from school participation is a violation of fundamental law, in particular article 24 of the amended Palestinian Basic Law, which states: Education is an obligatory right of every citizen, at least until finishing primary and elementary school, education is free of charge in schools, associations, and public institutions.
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) supervises education with all its stages and institutes, and works on raising educational standards.
The law secures the independence of universities, high institutes, and centers for scientific research; it also guarantees the freedom of scientific research, and literary, artistic, and cultural creativeness.
The PNA is to support and encourage this independence.
Private schools and educational institutes are to abide by the methods approved by the PNA under its supervision.
It also violates article 2 of law of rights of the disabled no.
4 of 1999, which states: "a disabled person has the right to enjoyment of free life and good living, and diverse services like any other citizen who has the same rights and duties".
Article 3 of the same law states: "the State undertakes the protection of rights of the disabled and facilitates to obtain them.
The ministry is to coordinate with relevant bodies to set awareness programs for him, his family and environment, related to the rights stated in this law.
" Article 9 states: " 1- The States must provide rehabilitation with its various forms to the disabled person in accordance with the nature of his disability and with his contribution which must not exceed 25% of costs.
2- Disabled persons are exempt from this contribution due to occupation".
Article 9 states: "The State must set regulations that guarantee the protection of the disabled person from all kinds of violence, exploitation and discrimination".
In addition, article 10 of the same law emphasizes the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs to coordinate with specialized bodies to provide care and rehabilitation of the disabled in the field of education; it states: Provide and guarantee equal opportunities to the disabled to join educational institutions and universities within the applied methods in these institutions.
Provide necessary educational diagnosis to determine type and degree of disability.
Provide educational means and methods and necessary for facilitation.
Ensure all types and levels of education for disabled persons according to their needs.
Prepare qualified persons educationally to teach the disabled, depending on the type of disability.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights believes that the prevention of deaf children from the right to education constitutes a breach of Palestinian law which states that all Palestinians are equal in front of the law, with no discrimination of colour, ethnicity, religion, political tendency, or disability.
The Centre calls upon the PNA to provide protection to the rights of disabled, and emphasizes on following up the case in order to implement the essential law, and law 4 of the rights of the disabled of year 1999.