30 October 2019

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Ms. Koumbou Boly Barry, will make an official visit to Qatar, between 8 and 16 December 2019. The visit will collect information and hold a series of dialogues with Government authorities, civil society mechanisms and other relevant stakeholders in order to analyze and assess realization of the right to education. The Special Rapporteur will present a public report on the country visit to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2020.

The Special Rapporteur is currently seeking the views of all relevant stakeholders to inform the thematic and geographical focus of the visit and subsequent reporting. 

Please send any contribution to sreducation@ohchr.org and tguluma@ohchr.org and mbidault@ohchr.org as soon as possible but no later than 20 November 2019. It cannot be guaranteed submissions received after this date will be considered during the visit. All submissions will be considered for the Special Rapporteur’s report to the UN Human Rights Council. 

All responses will be kept confidential. Neither you nor your organization will be identified, and your response will not be attributed to you or your organization, under any circumstances.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: sreducation@ohchr.org


Background information 

Visit objectives

  • Collect information and discuss issues related to the enjoyment of the right to education, including issues relating to availability; accessibility; acceptability; and adaptability of education; 
  • Address right to education issues in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, including the implementation of the fourth SDG: "Ensure access for all to quality education on an equal footing and promote lifelong learning opportunities";
  • Engage in dialogue with the Government, civil society and other interested stakeholders on progress made and remaining challenges to realization of the right to education;
  • Identify practical solutions, make recommendations and support best practices in the realization of the right to education.

The right to education

The right to education is reflected in various international and regional human rights instruments, including the:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 26);
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 13);
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (Art. 28);
  • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (article 5 (e.v.);
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (article 10);
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (article 24); 
  • International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (article 30)

As defined by General Comment No.13 of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in States Parties), “ Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. As an empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities. Education has a vital role in empowering women, safeguarding children from exploitative and hazardous labour and sexual exploitation, promoting human rights and democracy, protecting the environment, and controlling population growth. Increasingly, education is recognized as one of the best financial investments States can make.” According to the Committee, “education in all its forms and at all levels shall exhibit the following interrelated and essential features: a) availability; b) accessibility; c) acceptability; and d) adaptability".  

Call for submissions 

While all submissions are welcome, and the below is by no means exhaustive, the Special Rapporteur would be grateful for comments that address topics such as:

  • The extent of Qatar’s implementation of its human rights obligationsunder international law, including relevant examples of good practice and challenges relevant to the right to education; 
  • Major challenges and human rights-related issues relating to the right to educationin Qatar;
  • Student participation in the functioning of education systems;
  • The autonomy of higher education institutions as well as academic freedom;
  • The integration oftechnical and vocational educationinto general education; 
  • Working conditions and salaries of teachers, including non-national teachers;
  • People disproportionately impacted by right to education violations and related human rights issues, including women, children, minorities and internally displaced persons;
  • Citizenship and human rights education;
  • The role of private sector actorson the right to education. Including, where relevant, information about good practices, challenges and the efficacy of the Government in ensuring non-state actors’ compliance with human rights obligations;  
  • Individuals and organizationsin Qatar with whom the Special Rapporteur should meet during her country visit, and specific placesshe should visit.