Positive News: Autistic Boy Slavko Mrsevic in School again!

After a long and uncertain fight, Slavko Mrsevic, a boy with a mild form of autism, started again going to school with his friends.

Media reported that Slavko, who has autism, has been prevented by the school and the ministry from attending high school since 2016 because of his disability.

Slavko’s father Nenad Mršević told Human Rights Watch that the school’s and the ministry’s decision to abruptly exclude him from school, and separation from his peers, has had a devastating impact on Slavko’s emotional wellbeing. According to his dad, “Slavko was a good student who, with the support of a learning assistant, would have graduated high school.”

We understand that your ministry had agreed to provide Slavko with reasonable accommodation in 2016 and we urge you to support him in that direction.

Slavko was a child under the age of 18 when he was told by school three years ago to stop coming to class, without any formal and written notification. Children with disabilities have the same right to education, and this should be provided in an inclusive setting, where children with and without disabilities can learn and play together, free from discrimination.

Under article 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Bosnia and Herzegovina ratified in 1993, there is a guarantee for the right of the child to education, free from discrimination. Under article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), to which Bosnia and Herzegovina is also a party since 2010, there is a guarantee that children and adults with disabilities have the right to inclusive primary and secondary education in the communities where they live along with reasonable accommodation of the individual’s educational requirements.

Restricting or eliminating for children with disabilities is a direct violation of both article 28 and 29 of the CRC and article 24 of the CRPD. State parties must take the appropriate measure to ensure that all children and people with disabilities are receiving adequate access to education. Looking specifically at Republika Srpska Law, all persons have right to free secondary education under equal conditions. Additionally, a number of state and entity’s laws also explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability including the law on education.



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