This issue of the INTERIGHTS Bulletin focuses on litigating the right to education in Africa. It includes the following articles:
Litigating the Right to Education: Editorial
Solomon Sacco and Susie Talbot
Africa and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Malcolm Langford and Rebecca Brown
Litigating the Right to Universal Primary Education: Challenges and Prospects
Toward Recognition of the Right to Free Education in Colombia
Esteban Hoyos-Ceballos and Camilo Castillo-Sánchez
Expropriation as a Means to Protect the Right to Basic Education: The Case of a Farm School on Private Property Facing Eviction
Lessons from Litigating Universal Primary Education in Swaziland
Developing a Litigation Strategy Regarding Non-Fee Barriers to Equal Access to Free and Compulsory Education for Children in Kenya
Litigating the Expulsion of Pregnant Girls
Tactics to Secure the Right to Education for Children Living with Albinism in Kenya
Gertrude N Angote
Dzvova v Minister of Education, Sports and Culture & Ors
Republic v Head Teacher, Kenya High School, ex parte SMY
The Legal Way of Doing Things: The Competing Powers of School Governing Bodies and Education Authorities in South Africa
The ECOWAS Decision on the Right to Education in SERAP v Nigeria
Adetokunbo Mumuni and Chinyere Nwafor
Advancing the Right to Education Through the Communication Procedure in the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
Published in 2015, this document is the second of a series of thematic mappings on the implementation of the right to education, following a first edition on Girls’ and Women’s Right to Education. It presents concrete measures adopted by countries to ensure the full enjoyment of the right to education for persons with disabilities.
The document is based on national reports submitted for the Eighth Consultation on the monitoring of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) and the UNESCO Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (1960).
The first part of the document provides a thematic analysis of measures and promising practices that have been reported on by countries. The second part compiles in factsheets progress and challenges in constitutional and legislative frameworks and measures, for the 48 countries that reported on measures taken, out of the 59 reporting countries.
The document is intended to serve as a practical tool for both advocacy and monitoring. By highlighting concrete measures taken by countries, it also offers a basis for regional and international co-operation and shares promising practices from which other countries can learn.
This paper highlights key concluding observations adopted between 2014 and 2016 by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), and the UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) regarding the role of private actors in education in Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda and Zimbabwe. These add to more than 50 other concluding observations previously issued by these committees on the topic.
Based upon Plan International's dataset of 1.4 million sponsored children, the report compares sponsored children with a disability to those without, from 30 countries worldwide. The report, produced in collaboration with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, reveals that children with disabilities in developing countries are being held back from an education. The findings will help Plan International - and other researchers and organisations - to improve responses to the needs of children with disabilities, particularly their health and education.
This is a brief update of the report submitted in October 2015 to the Committee on the Rights of the Child by 26 organisations across the world including British organisations, organisations based in developing countries, and international organisations.
This is a summary of the report submitted in October 2015 to the Committee on the Rights of the Child by 26 organisations across the world including British organisations, organisations based in developing countries, and international organisations.
This is a brief update of the report submitted in October 2015 to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by 26 organisations across the world including British organisations, organisations based in developing countries, and international organisations.
This Report provides an overview of what countries are doing to ensure the right to education for girls and women. Based on the national reports of forty countries from different regions, the Report is organized in a series of country factsheets. Each factsheet contains key statistics on the situation of girls in education in each reporting country, followed by information on each country’s status of ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) and the Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) as well as information on their constitutional and legislative provisions in this field. They illustrate how countries have made noteworthy advances in addressing gender inequalities and in eliminating discriminatory attitudes towards girls and women in the field of education.
The Report is based on national reports submitted for the Eighth Consultation on the monitoring of the implementation of the Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) and the Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (1960).
This study examines the relationship between institutional autonomy and the security of higher education institutions from violent and coercive attacks. The paper includes a review of the limited literature available, as well as a series of examples illustrating different forms of attacks. These include arrests related to classroom content in Zimbabwe, sectarian divisions in Iraq, impunity for murders of academics in Pakistan, and physical intimidation on campuses in Tunisia. The study suggests that institutional autonomy plays a direct and indirect protective function. It directly helps protect systems of higher education from government interference, making it more difficult for states to act as perpetrators. It also indirectly helps preserve higher education against actual and perceived politicization and ideological manipulation, which in turn might help insulate it from attacks by nonstate parties. The study suggests a framework for examining questions of autonomy and security which in turn suggests a need to develop strategies aimed at increasing autonomy and security simultaneously. This necessarily requires approaches aimed at encouraging states to fulfill their obligations not to engage in or to be complicit in attacks (negative obligations) and obligations to protect higher education from attack and to deter future attacks by holding perpetrators accountable (positive obligations). The study concludes with brief recommendations on how different stakeholders might work to encourage greater understanding and implementation of these obligations, including further research, expert roundtables and information-sharing, development of guidelines and related advocacy campaigns.
Around the world, higher education communities are overwhelmed by frequent attacks on scholars, students, staff, and their institutions. State and non-state actors, including armed militant and extremist groups, police and military forces, government authorities, off-campus groups, and even members of higher education communities, among others, carry out these attacks, which often result in deaths, injuries, and deprivations of liberty. Beyond their harm to the individuals and institutions directly targeted, these attacks undermine entire higher education systems, by impairing the quality of teaching, research, and discourse on campus and constricting society’s space to think, question, and share ideas. Ultimately, they impact all of us, by damaging higher education’s unique capacity to drive the social, political, cultural, and economic development from which we all benefit.
Through its Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, Scholars at Risk (SAR) responds to these attacks by identifying and tracking key incidents, with the aim of protecting vulnerable individuals, raising awareness, encouraging accountability, and promoting dialogue and understanding that can help prevent future threats. Since 2015, SAR has been publishing Free to Think, a series of annual reports analyzing attacks on higher education communities around the world.
Free to Think 2021 documents 332 attacks on higher education communities in 65 countries and territories. This year was marked by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than five million lives. For higher education, the pandemic continued to disrupt academic activity, keeping many institutions in remote states of operation and suspending most academic travel. For scholars and students, the pandemic also continued to raise questions, concerns, and criticisms about state responses to public health crises, government accountability, and societal inequities. Scholars and students took on these issues in the classroom and more public venues, in-person and online, asserting their academic freedom and their rights to freedoms of expression and assembly. They also responded to acute and more long-standing political conflicts, from Myanmar’s coup to the steady erosion of human rights in Turkey, demanding civilian led government and the protection of fundamental freedoms. Frequently, however, individuals and groups opposed to their questions and ideas sought to silence them.