In spite of the impressive indicators regarding education enrolment and attendance in the occupied Palestinian territoty, access to quality education remains significantly compromised. The educational process has been obstructed and interrupted, and the dignity and safety of students and teaching staff violated in the process. The primary responsibility for this lies with the conflicting parties that continue and prolong a situation of protracted conflict and humanitarian crisis. These violations do not appear as isolated incidents or the unintended consequences of policies and budgetary constraints. Rather, they are the result of systematic targeting and legal discrimination at the levels of the legislature, government, judiciary and the military.
This report does not in itself attempt to document and analyse these violations and systematically document discrimination. Rather, it offers a methodology for how to monitor, analyse and report on the situation. It does so by offering both concepts and tools to allow us to understand, identify and access the relevant legal frameworks and mechanisms that may serve to address violations and bring about change.
The report builds in part on a series of interviews and workshops, conducted in 2011 in both Ramallah and Gaza City under the auspices of UNESCO. These workshops and other informational meetings allowed the Right to Education Initiative to engage in substantial capacity building regarding the human rights approach and to set the scene for the initial stages of a constructive dialogue. The hope is that this report may contribute to renewed action in three main directions: an understanding of the importance of using IHRL to support the Palestinian education system; an inclusion of IHRL into existing advocacy strategies; and an improvement regarding the way education policies and programmes are made.
This legal factsheet accompanies the Right to Education Initiative’s multimedia essay Caught in the crossfire: The right to education in eastern Ukraine. It has been made available for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
Joint statement made by GI-ESCR and the Right to Education Initiative at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council in July 2020 welcoming the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the right to education. The statement emphasised her call for States to prioritise the funding and delivery of free, quality, public education, and implement minimum standards to secure the privacy and data protection for learners and teachers.
Education is a fundamental human right of every woman, man and child. In states’ efforts to meet their commitments to making the right to education a reality for all, most have made impressive progress in recent decades. With new laws and policies that remove fees in basic education, significant progress has been made in advancing free education. This has led to tens of millions of children enrolling for the first time and the number of out of school children and adolescents falling by almost half since 2000. Important steps have also been taken with regard to gender parity and states have made efforts to raise the quality of education through improved teacher policies and a growing emphasis on learning outcomes.
Despite these efforts, breaches of the right to education persist worldwide, illustrated perhaps most starkly by the fact that 262 million primary and secondary-aged children and youth are still out of school. Girls, persons with disabilities, those from disadvantaged backgrounds or rural areas, indigenous persons, migrants and national minorities are among those who face the worst discrimination, affecting both their right to go to school and their rights within schools.
To respond to the challenges, the Right to Education Initiative (RTE) with UNESCO have developed this handbook to guide action on ensuring full compliance with the right to education. Its objective is not to present the right to education as an abstract, conceptual, or purely legal concept, but rather to be action-oriented. The handbook will also be an important reference for those working towards the achievement of SDG4, by offering guidance on how to leverage legal commitment to the right to education as a strategic way to achieve this goal.
When working on human rights issues, you should consider a person’s right to decide whether they want to be featured in written, recorded or audiovisual work.
It is an ethical consideration which protects individuals from exploitation. It is also a legal requirement: in many countries you cannot share, store or publish content if consent has not been obtained.
This monitoring guide is designed to help civil society organisations monitor education under attack from a human rights perspective. It will guide you through:
I: the importance of monitoring
II: give you advice on what to look for and how to collect data
III: provide you with a list of indicators you might want to look at
IV: give recommendations on how and who to report to when identifying violations of the right to education.
It is part of a series of thematic guidance notes providing practical advice on monitoring various aspects of the right to education from a human rights perspective. These guides are based on, and supplement, the Right to Education Initiative’s right to education monitoring guide, which provides a human rights framework for monitoring education and education-related issues, as well as our experiences across various monitoring initiatives that we have undertaken with partners from all over the world.
See also the sister publication: Education Under Attack: a guidance note for journalists and photographers
Changes in the media market after the end of the cold war, the development of new technologies and the hindering consequences of multiple economic crises have strengthened collaboration between journalists, photographers, videographers, and NGOs. Media reporting on conflict zones can play an enhanced role in helping civil society organisations (CSOs) to document attacks on education and CSO knowledge and connections could help journalists uncover important stories from the front lines.
This brief encourages a systematic collaboration focused on collecting and sharing data that may help advance the right to education in emergency situations. It is part of a Right to Education Initiative (RTE) series of briefs designed to help civil society organisations monitor and advocate for the right to education, such as the guide on Monitoring Education Under Attack from a Human Rights Perspective.