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Education is not a privilege. It is a human right. This central tenet of international law is our foundational pillar, and guides our work as a non-governmental international human rights organisation dedicated entirely to the promotion and defence of the right to education. 

Our vision is a world in which everyone can fully enjoy the right to education in all its dimensions from birth to adulthood and throughout life, regardless of their status and circumstances, and where all human rights in and through education are respected, protected and realised. 

This document sets out our bold ambitions, and our plans for making them happen. Find out more about how we will advance the right to education in a changing world.

FRANCAIS     ESPAÑOL

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Our 2021 Annual Report includes information about our strategy, our team and our supporters, and details activities and key achievements throughout the year. 

Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our donors, to whom we are immensely grateful. 

The Right to Education Project's Annual Report 2016 includes information on the activities we have undertaken as well as our key achievements and impacts. 

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In this briefing note compendium, UNESCO IESALC presents the findings of a thematic consultation dedicated to rethinking merit and critically discussing the structural barriers surrounding this concept. The briefing note compendium presents experts’ views on the various challenges associated with merit and some ideas to restart the debate and promote the right to higher education from a social justice perspective.

Within this compendium is a paper published by Delphine Dorsi entitled 'Capacity or Merit? Rethinking notions in access to higher education', pp.18-19.

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Higher education is part of the right to education, protected under international human rights law. This means that states have the obligation to protect respect and fulfil the right to higher education and that there are ways to hold them accountable for violations or deprivations of the right to higher education.

However, despite a comprehensive international legal framework ensuring the right to higher education without any discrimination and a wide political commitment to promote inclusion in higher education, important inequalities persist, both in terms of access to higher education and of access to the most socially rewarding degrees and programmes. Issues such as privatisation of higher education and rising tuition fees represent a threat to equal access and participation in higher education, especially in contexts where structural social inequalities - such as class, gender, or territorial inequalities - persevere. Moreover, certain groups - such as ethnic, racial, and religious minorities as well as migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers - are still widely underrepresented in higher education if compared to their proportion in the population as a whole.

These, and many other challenges regarding access and participation in higher education, can be brought to light when we carefully monitor the right to higher education. It is only by monitoring the right to higher education that adapted laws and policies which can address persistent inequalities and discriminations can be designed.

This guide proposes a human rights based approach to inequalities regarding students’ access to and participation in higher education. This guide 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.

 

ESPAÑOL

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This report, jointly produced by Right to Education Initiative; La FAGE, Fédération des Associations Générales Etudiantes; and Global Students Forum, focuses on the right to higher education, questioning France’s compliance with its obligations regarding article 2.2 and article 13.2 (c) of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

It is based on a five year research project developed by the Right to Education Initiative (RTE) in collaboration with students from Sciences Po Law School Clinic (Paris) and researchers from the University of Geneva, University of Orléans and ENS Paris Saclay

This submission highlights that the public policies aiming to reduce inequalities in access to higher education implemented by the French government since the last periodical reporting session are insufficient, and need to be reinforced and expanded. It argues that structural, territorial, and socio-economic inequalities as well as the State’s higher education financing policy hinder equality and non-discrimination in access to higher education and increase the privatisation trend.

 

FRANÇAIS

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In her 2022 Report on the impact of the digitalisation of education on the right to education, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education clarified that any introduction of digital technologies in education must be framed around the right of every person to public, free, quality education and the commitments of states in this regard both under international human rights law and Sustainable Development Goal 4. This paper affirms that state obligations under the human rights framework must be the starting point for assessing and responding to discussions related to the monitoring of children’s activities and the collection and use of their data in the field of education. Part 2 outlines the international and regional human rights legal framework that governs the relationship between technology and education, providing a baseline upon which states can verify compliance with international human rights law and useful guidance for anyone seeking to understand the impacts of existing and emerging educational products and services. Part 3 then provides a comparative analysis of the regulation of technology and education in ten countries, through an examination of current data protection, education and related legislation, for the purpose of understanding how different countries are paying attention to and addressing key human rights issues with regards to technology in education in practice.

 

Background paper to 2023 UNESCO GEM Report 'Technology in education: a tool on whose terms?'

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The past two years (2021-2023) have been marked by important progress in the area of ECCE and reflection on the implications in terms of normative framework and related rights implementation. UNESCO brought together 40 key actors in ECCE for three high-level meetings resulting in the Global Partnership Strategy for Early Childhood (GPS) in 2022. This led to the Second World Conference on ECCE (WCECCE) in November 2022 in Uzbekistan. The international community gathered at the WCECCE also discussed ECCE rights and normative framework during a specific session based on the analysis of a Thematic Report produced for the event entitled ‘Building and strengthening the legal framework on ECCE rights: achievements, challenges and actions for change’.
 
This paper unfolds the various parameters related to ECCE rights areas that would need to be considered while reflecting on how to better strengthen enforcement of ECCE through the normative framework. In that regard, with the adoption of the Tashkent Declaration states committed to “Examine the feasibility of supporting and enshrining the right to ECCE in a legal international instrument including in the context of the Evolving Right to Education Initiative led by UNESCO”. This workshop meeting report, summarising discussions with ECCE experts, strengthens this discourse and takes it forward.

 

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In a world facing social fragmentation, harmful inequities, and environmental deterioration, we need quality, transformative, inclusive public education now more than ever. As our political systems struggle to resist autocracy and to foster democracy, free public education can help create a well-informed public with the capacity to address these global challenges.

The public supports public education, and public education works.

Please sign the statement as an organisation or as an individual and join us in the process of advocating for States to realise the full potential of public education. Our future depends on it!

 

ESPAÑOL      FRANÇAIS      العربية

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