23 September 2014

An online database containing 195 profiles on the legal status of education in countries around the world has just been launched by UNESCO.

The Right to Education Global Database is a unique portal designed to be a practical tool for monitoring, research and advocacy. It already hosts a library of over 1,000 official documents, including constitutions, legislations and policies on education from nations across the globe.

The online platform aims to inform key players on the legal status of education worldwide and foster regional and international cooperation.  

International conventions, such as UNESCO’s Convention against Discrimination in Education - contain provisions to guarantee education as a fundamental human right. They recognize and call for the right of every person to enjoy access to good quality education, without discrimination or exclusion. While considerable efforts have been made worldwide to ensure that children and adults enjoy this right to education by adopting a solid national legal and policy framework, there is still room for improvement.

The new database hosts examples of measures taken by UNESCO Member States to implement legal frameworks for ensuring the right to education.

Documents available in the online library  include the newly adopted Constitution of Egypt (2014), the Constitution of Dominican Republic (2010), and the latest amendments to the Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013), which all enshrine the right to education. Other legal texts such as the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act – Pakistan (2012) and Argentina’s Resolution on Special Education (2011) can also be accessed online. The platform has other documents such as, Bhutan’s Education Sector Strategy for 2020, Chile’s Education Plan for 2009-2020 and Mozambique’s Education Strategic Plan for 2012-2016.

The database is aimed at ministries involved in education, civil society organisations, researchers and students. As well as monitoring the implementation of the right to education and assisting research efforts, the database is a powerful advocacy tool for promoting key areas such as access, quality, free and compulsory education and equity.

The Right to Education Global Database is interactive and will be regularly updated with the latest documents and research. Users are encouraged to share official national documents on this topic as well as comments and suggestions by sending an email to righttoeducation(at)unesco.org

Other useful databases providing information on education including statistics, laws and policies are listed here.