The report, Education Denied: Israel’s Systematic Violation of Palestinian Children’s Right to Education, was prepared for the July 2011 High-Level Segment of UN-ECOSOC in Geneva, Switzerland and reviews the implementation of the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the United Nations Development Agenda in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
The report informs that the the achievement of the MDG on education is proving unattainable as a result of illegal policies enacted as part of Israel’s longstanding occupation. By denying Palestinian children full access to high-quality primary education, Israel, the Occupying Power, is failing to comply with its binding obligations under international law.
Through this report, PCHR asks that the international community take all appropriate measures to end Israel's repeated violations of international law which inhibit basic human rights, including education, and development goals in the oPt.
In spite of the impressive indicators regarding education enrolment and attendance in the occupied Palestinian territoty, access to quality education remains significantly compromised. The educational process has been obstructed and interrupted, and the dignity and safety of students and teaching staff violated in the process. The primary responsibility for this lies with the conflicting parties that continue and prolong a situation of protracted conflict and humanitarian crisis. These violations do not appear as isolated incidents or the unintended consequences of policies and budgetary constraints. Rather, they are the result of systematic targeting and legal discrimination at the levels of the legislature, government, judiciary and the military.
This report does not in itself attempt to document and analyse these violations and systematically document discrimination. Rather, it offers a methodology for how to monitor, analyse and report on the situation. It does so by offering both concepts and tools to allow us to understand, identify and access the relevant legal frameworks and mechanisms that may serve to address violations and bring about change.
The report builds in part on a series of interviews and workshops, conducted in 2011 in both Ramallah and Gaza City under the auspices of UNESCO. These workshops and other informational meetings allowed the Right to Education Initiative to engage in substantial capacity building regarding the human rights approach and to set the scene for the initial stages of a constructive dialogue. The hope is that this report may contribute to renewed action in three main directions: an understanding of the importance of using IHRL to support the Palestinian education system; an inclusion of IHRL into existing advocacy strategies; and an improvement regarding the way education policies and programmes are made.