The theme of this year’s Human Rights Day is equality - reducing inequalities, advancing human rights. How does this apply to education? Reducing inequalities and advancing human rights can take many forms - but to achieve equality, it is crucial to advance access to free, quality, inclusive education at all levels, from early childhood to adult education; to erode the barriers to access that prevent many from enjoying their right to education, among them girls, young mothers, minority ethnic communities, people with disabilities, migrant and refugee learners, and indigenous groups; to end discriminatory practice and legislation; and to ensure that public education receives adequate funding. Underlying all of this is the fundamental quality of education as a right - not a privilege, but a human right to which we are all entitled.
Achieving equality in education is no small undertaking, and requires concerted mobilisation and advocacy on the part of civil society, and ongoing commitments and compliance by states. Though the scale of the challenge is immense, we are proud to be fighting every day to make the right to education a reality. To mark International Human Rights Day, this week we have been amplifying our voice across diverse platforms and taking part in events to shine a light on the multiple challenges, opportunities and successes with regards the right to education worldwide.
On Monday 6 December, we participated in the launch of the Global Partnership Strategy for Early Education - the product of 18 months of multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. On Tuesday 7 December, our Director Delphine Dorsi participated in the UNESCO International Seminar on the Evolving Right to Education. The seminar presented the culmination of the first stage of the UNESCO Futures of Education initiative, discussing the report and the future of the right to education. Watch the opening session of the seminar below (Delphine Dorsi’s contribution begins at 1hr 43mins). Our contribution to UNESCO’s initiative is published here.
Today, to mark the day itself, we held a joint webinar with ActionAid and Girls Not Brides at which we launched the updated Promoting Rights in Schools Framework. The framework outlines ten rights which should be included in the approach of an ‘ideal’ school. These core rights promote a quality inclusive public education and support the objective of securing and strengthening free, compulsory inclusive quality public education for all.
Our work to reduce inequalities and advance the human right to education continues and we are proud to celebrate our successes while looking towards the future.
Happy Human Rights Day to all!