The European Committee of Social Rights, which monitors compliance with the European Social Charter refers to the Abidjan Principles (APs) in its most recent set of conclusions - which include detailed discussions of the right to education for states parties to the Council of Europe.
The Committee published a statement of the interpretation of Article 17§2 (right to education) regarding private sector involvement in education which states:
‘The Committee recalls that Article 17§2 of the Charter requires States Parties to establish and maintain an educational system that is both accessible and effective (Conclusions 2011). The Charter provides that the obligations under this provision may be met directly or through the involvement of private actors. The Committee notes further that in many states private education is also available.
The Committee is also mindful in this respect of the Abidjan Guiding Principles on the human rights obligations of States to provide public education and to regulate private involvement in education. It recalls that the requirement that States respect the freedom of parents to choose an educational institution other than a public institution leaves unchanged the obligation under the Charter to provide free quality public education. Similarly, the offer of educational alternatives by private actors must not be detrimental to the allocation of resources towards, or otherwise undermine the accessibility and quality of, public education. Moreover, States are required to regulate and supervise private sector involvement in education strictly, making sure that the right to education is not undermined.’
The European Social Charter sets out the most extensive protection for the right to education under European human rights law. Find out more here.
The mention adds to the growing list of institutions and legal and political documents that refer to the Abidjan Principles, demonstrating their normative and practical importance in ensuring the right to education. The Abidjan Principles, which were adopted in February 2019, have also been mentioned in the following:
African Commission’ Resolution on States’ Obligation to Regulate Private Actors Involved in the Provision of Health and Education Services recognises the Abidjan Principles by referring to the overarching principle 5 (June 2019)
Human Rights Council resolution on the right to education (July 2019)
UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education report (July 2019)
Global Partnership for Education Private sector engagement strategy (June 2019)
Uganda High Court decision (July 2019)
Publication in the International Human Rights Law Review (June 2019)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs Bachelet, at the UN Social Forum (35’) (October 2019)
Selected by the Paris Peace Forum as one of the most promising governance projects (November 2019)
Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (January 2020)
Report of the Independent Expert on the effect of foreign debt and other related international financial obligation of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly ESCR (January 2020)
Social rights of children, families and migrants in danger across Europe: latest annual conclusions from the European Committee of Social Rights
Is Europe getting social rights right? (A video with Aoife Nolan, member of the European Committee on Social Rights and RTE’s adviser)