Affirmative actions should be understood as targeted temporary actions aiming to facilitate access, participation, and completion of marginalised groups that are underrepresented in different levels of education.
The relevant international and regional human rights treaties include: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (and its Optional Protocols) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (and its Optional Protocols), Convention on the Rights of the Child, and UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education.
In Europe: Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights, and (Revised) European Social Charter (including Article 17)
Total primary (or secondary) school age children who are not enrolled (because they never enrolled or because they dropped-out) in primary or secondary education expressed as a percentage of the official school-age population corresponding to the primary (or secondary) level in a given school-year. Children enrolled in pre-primary education are excluded and considered out-of-school (Source: UIS)
Private enrolment refers to pupils or students enrolled at a given level of education in institutions that are not operated by a public authority but controlled and managed, whether for profit or not, by a private body, such as a non-governmental organisation, religious body, special interest group, foundation or business enterprise.
Gross tertiary graduation ratio (only applicable for first degrees) is the total number of graduates in tertiary International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 5A programmes expressed as a percentage of the total population of the age at which students theoretically finish their first degree programme, in a given country
GER is the ratio of total enrolment, regardless of age, to the population of the age group that corresponds to the same level of education. GER can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over-aged and under-aged students, because of early or late school entrance, and grade repetition. For the tertiary level, the population used is the 5-year age group starting from the official secondary school graduation age (Source: UIS, Education Indicators - Technical Guidelines: p.9)
Marginalised groups are all those excluded from governmental policy and access to education including: women and girls, indigenous peoples and minorities, persons with disabilities, persons with HIV / AIDS, child labourers, persons in detention, migrants, refugees and IDPs, and persons living in poverty (Source: Audrey Chapman (2007) Development of Indicators for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: The Rights to Education, Participation in Cultural Life and Access to the Benefits of Science: p.145)
Technical / vocational enrolment as a percentage of total secondary enrolment is the percentage of secondary students enrolled in technical / vocational education programmes, including teacher training programmes
The primary education priority ratio is the percentage of total education expenditure allocated to primary education