A group of distinguished experts in international law, convened by the International Commission of Jurists, the Faculty of Law of the University of Limburg (Maastricht, the Netherlands) and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights (University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA), met in Maastricht from 2 to 6 June 1986 to consider the nature and scope of the obligations of States parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the considered of States parties' reports by the newly constituted Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international cooperation under Part IV of the Covenant.
The participants unanimously agreed on what have become known as the Limburg Principles, which they believe reflect the present state of international law. At a meeting on the tenth anniversary of the Limburg Principles, a similar group of experts agreed on the Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees guarantees specifically the right to education of refugees in its Article 22.
This Resolution (A/HRC/RES/32/20) was presented by the United Arab Emirates and adopted by consensus. The resolution links back to the panel discussion held by the Council during its 29th session, on this topic and the OHCHR report on that panel discussion (A/HRC/30/23).
The resolution urges States to eliminate discrimination against girls in education and remove all obstacles such as discriminatory laws, custom, tradition or religious considerations, financial barriers, violence, child labour, harmful practices (eg: FGM), gender stereotypes, child, early and forced marriage and early pregnancy. It also called on States to:
- Ensure that educational institutions are safe and free from violence and abuse and girls can travel to and from and attend school safely
- Address the school drop-out rate of girls and ensure that there are primary and secondary school places available for girls within a reasonable distance from home
- Provide equal access to education for girls from marginalised and excluded groups, with disabilities, indigenous girls, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, girls in rural areas and economically disadvantaged girls
- Provide every primary and secondary school with professionally trained and qualified teachers, including female teachers and with full access to separate, adequate and safe water and sanitation services
- Develop a non-discriminatory, inclusive, accessible and culturally sensitive, safe, supportive and secure environment conducive to providing a quality education, including human rights education….and financial literacy …. to enable girls to be proactive actors in society
- Eliminate gender based stereotypes from all educational processes, practices and teaching materials
- Prioritise education in State budgets, increase investments and international cooperation to allow all girls to complete free, equitable, inclusive and quality education and support developing countries through financial and technical resources for ‘country-led national education plans’
- Support access to education for girls in emergency situations, migrant, internally displaced and refugee girls and those in humanitarian crises and conflict situations.
Finally, the resolution requests the OHCHR to prepare a report to be presented at the June 2017 session of the Human Rights Council on: ‘the realisation of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl’, ‘obstacles limiting effective access’ and ‘recommendations on appropriate measures to eliminate gender disparities in education by 2030, taking into account Goal 4 of the SDGs’.
Adopted on 26 August 2016, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities clarifies and interprets the right to inclusive education as laid out in article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers was adopted on 5 October 1966 at a special intergovernmental conference convened by UNESCO in Paris in cooperation with the ILO. It sets forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and international standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions. It also contains many recommendations for teachers’ participation in educational decisions through consultation and negotiation with educational authorities. Since its adoption, the Recommendation has been considered an important set of guidelines to promote teachers’ status in the interest of quality education.
The UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1997, following years of preparatory work between UNESCO and the ILO. This standard is a set of recommended practices covering all higher education teaching personnel. It is designed to complement the 1966 Recommendation, and is promoted and its implementation monitored by UNESCO in cooperation with the ILO, notably through the Joint ILO/ UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations concerning Teaching Personnel (CEART).
The Safe Schools Declaration is an inter-governmental political commitment that provides countries the opportunity to express support for protecting students, teachers, schools, and universities from attack during times of armed conflict; the importance of the continuation of education during armed conflict; and the implementation of concrete measures to deter the military use of schools.
By joining the Safe Schools Declaration, states commit to undertake several common-sense steps to make it less likely that students, teachers, schools, and universities will be attacked, and to mitigate the negative consequences when such attacks occur.
These measures include:
- collecting reliable data on attacks and military use of schools and universities
- providing assistance to victims of attacks
- investigating allegations of violations of national and international law and prosecuting perpetrators where appropriate
- developing and promoting 'conflict sensitive' approaches to education
- seeking to continue education during armed conflict
- supporting the UN's work on the children and armed conflict agenda
- using the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict, and bringing them into domestic policy and operational frameworks as far as possible and appropriate
The Declaration is also a framework for collaboration and exchange, and endorsing states agree to meet on a regular basis to review implementation of the Declaration and use of the Guidelines.
The Arab Charter on Human Rights was adopted on 22 May 2004 by the Council of the League of Arab States. It reaffirms the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and therefore, the right to education.
Article 41 guarantees the right to education and obliges States Parties to eradicate illiteracy. It provides for free compulsory primary education. It defines the aims of education and refers to human rights education. It also guarantees on-going education and adult education.
Article 40 is specifically on the right to education of persons with disabilities.
Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/32/L.33 adopted during the 32nd Session on the right to education. This resolution urges States to give full effect to the right to education, including by taking measures including the regulation of non-State actor providers of education:
2 (e) Putting in place a regulatory framework for education providers, including those operating independently or in partnership with States, guided by international human rights obligations, that establishes, inter alia, minimum norms and standards for the creation and operation of educational services, addresses any negative impacts of the commercialisation of education, and strengthens access to appropriate remedies and reparation for victims of violations of the right to education;