On the first day of school, children often worry whether they'll make new friends or like their teachers. But in the Dominican Republic, some confront a far graver concern: Will I be turned away because I don't have a birth certificate?
The report, Left Behind: How Statelessness in the Dominican Republic Limits Children's Access to Education, shows that many children born in the Dominican Republic but descended from foreigners, particularly Haitians, are denied an education. For generations, such children were recognized as citizens, but within the last decade, the Dominican government has refused to issue many of them birth certificates, identity cards and other essential documentation, rendering them stateless. The report concludes that the Dominican Republic is failing to comply with its domestic and international human rights obligations, including the human right to education.
The report is the product of months of research, including interviews with dozens of affected children and families, as well as educators, advocates and government officials. Several of the Dominicans of Haitian descent interviewed were prevented from attending primary school, secondary school or university because they could not obtain identity documents. Of those allowed to attend school despite not having birth certificates, many were denied the ability to take national exams required to graduate.
All of this occurs in spite of laws, policies, constitutional provisions and international human rights commitments that are meant to guarantee children's right to education. The report found that administrative barriers, discrimination and confusion about the law has meant that in practice not all children in the Dominican Republic are allowed to go to school, even if they consider themselves Dominicans.
Alternative report submitted in November 2014 to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) at its 54th Session for its consideration of the List of Issues for Chile. The report calls on UN human rights experts to question the government of Chile about the human rights violations resulting from its privatised education system.
This report aims to present a brief overview of the ongoing privatisation processes in education in Brazil and its negative impacts on the achievement of the human right to education of children and adolescents.
This report, which complements a recent submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by the Brazilian National Association of Centers for the Defense of Child Rights (ANCED), cites evidence that education privatisation inhibits equity of access and participation, and reduces education to a commodity.
This report finishes by calling upon the Brazilian State to limit the role of the private sector in education, from preschool to higher education, and that the State itself should commit to ensuring the public provision of education through improved financing, regulation and governance enforcement mechanisms.
This present document, produced by the Brazilian Campaign for the Right to Education (Brazilian Campaign) and the NGO Ação Educativa, aims to present a brief overview of the ongoing privatization processes in education in Brazil and its negative impacts on the achievement of the human right to education of children and adolescents, as a contribution to the II Alternative Report on the Situation of the Rights of the Child in Brazil organized by the National Association of Centers for the Defense of Child Rights (Associação Nacional dos Centros de Defesa da Criança e do Adolescente - Anced).