This paper was commissioned by the Global Education Monitoring Report as background information to assist in drafting the 2019 GEM Report, Migration, displacement and education: Building bridges, not walls.
In 2017, there were an estimated 258 million people living outside their country of origin. Of them, about 30 million were school-aged. Migrants include different groups such as refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers, stateless, undocumented migrants and internal displaced persons. The right to education of migrants, irrespective of their legal or migration status, is guaranteed under international law on the basis of the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination. The main treaties guaranteeing the right to education apply to all migrants. In addition, migrant-specific treaties include provisions on the right to education. This international legal framework applies only to the extent that states have committed to it. At national level, migrants face legal and practical barriers to effectively enjoying their right to education. Some states show good examples of protecting the right to education of migrants in law and in practice.