This publication begins with the need to dismantle prevalent misconceptions because they hinder the advancement of education as a human right. Those conceptual obstacles which are particularly widespread are tackled, and their dark sides highlighted. This publication strives to provide food-for-thought because there are reasons for denying that education is a human right and these have to be brought into the open and countered effectively.

This is the second publication in a series devoted to elucidating key dimensions of the right to education. It addresses the cardinal requirement of the right to education – ensuring free and compulsory education for all.

This article makes some general observations on the concept of a core content of economic, social and cultural rights, and illustrate these observations by identifying some elements of the core content of the right to education using the 4 As framework (availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability).

This article identifies different types of State's failures to realise the right to education, which are violations of the right to education.

This is the third publication in a series devoted to elucidating key dimensions of the right to education. This publication summarises governmental human rights obligations in education, structured into a simple 4-As scheme – making education available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable.

Co-operation between UNESCO’s Committee on Conventions and Recommendations (CR) and The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) on the objectives for monitoring and promoting the Right to Education. 

"In our globalized world, education and the fight against discrimination remains a major issue. Thus discriminatory practices still exist today despite the fact that discrimination has no justification in international law.

Faced with this challenge, not only is education required to play an important role in the fight against discrimination, but access to all levels of education must be ensured systematically and without discrimination. This is one of the major issues involved in the right to education."

The Expert Consultation on the Operational Definition of Basic Education, organised from 17 - 18 December 2007 at UNESCO, brought together eminent experts from different regions and further discussed a preliminary draft of operational definition that was initially proposed during the Experts’ Workshop on “Challenges and Perspectives of Law and Education” organised in Sao Paulo in December 2006.

This Consultation was part of UNESCO’s efforts to address the request by the Joint Expert Group UNESCO (CR)/ECOSOC (CESCR) on the Monitoring of the Right to Education and by experts during the “International Conference on the Right to Basic Education as a Fundamental Human Right and the Legal Framework for its Financing” (Jakarta, 2005), to initiate a reflection and dialogue process for the elaboration of an operational definition of basic education and to elaborate a definition that would be universally accepted and recognized.

In preparation for this meeting, UNESCO undertook a thorough analysis of recent policy and legal texts which illustrated the lack of linguistic consistency in the terms used to describe the initial stages of formal education (basic, elementary, primary, fundamental, secondary, basic learning needs, etc.). A Thematic Framework, prepared by the Secretariat of UNESCO presented the policy and international normative framework as well as the right to basic education in constitutions and national legislation. 

This publication comes in response to the Organization’s concern to bring its standard setting instruments into broader use, with the support not only of Member States as prime movers in that effort, but also of international organizations, decision makers, teachers, the intellectual community, and all the stakeholders of civil society. Readers of this publication will gain a better grasp of the standard-setting content of UNESCO’s instruments in the field of the right to education, and this will lend impetus to the international community’s efforts in that regard.

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