In this decision, the Florida Supreme Court held that a voucher program providing public funds to students to obtain private education failed to comply with article IX, section 1 of the Florida Constitution, which requires the state government to make adequate provision for education through a uniform system of free public schools. This decision confirms Florida’s constitutional obligation to provide high quality, free public education – a duty that cannot be discharged by funding unregulated private schools through a voucher or scholarship program. The decision is consistent with the principle that the State has the primary responsibility for ensuring that the right to education is upheld regardless of whether the provider is public or private, and that the State must ensure that private providers meet minimum educational standards.
In this decision, the European Court of Human Rights clarified States’ obligations regarding the freedom of parents to educate their children according to their religious and philosophical convictions as guaranteed by Article 2 of Protocol 1 (P1-2) to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court found that compulsory sex education in public schools does not violate parental freedom.
This study examines the relationship between institutional autonomy and the security of higher education institutions from violent and coercive attacks. The paper includes a review of the limited literature available, as well as a series of examples illustrating different forms of attacks. These include arrests related to classroom content in Zimbabwe, sectarian divisions in Iraq, impunity for murders of academics in Pakistan, and physical intimidation on campuses in Tunisia. The study suggests that institutional autonomy plays a direct and indirect protective function. It directly helps protect systems of higher education from government interference, making it more difficult for states to act as perpetrators. It also indirectly helps preserve higher education against actual and perceived politicization and ideological manipulation, which in turn might help insulate it from attacks by nonstate parties. The study suggests a framework for examining questions of autonomy and security which in turn suggests a need to develop strategies aimed at increasing autonomy and security simultaneously. This necessarily requires approaches aimed at encouraging states to fulfill their obligations not to engage in or to be complicit in attacks (negative obligations) and obligations to protect higher education from attack and to deter future attacks by holding perpetrators accountable (positive obligations). The study concludes with brief recommendations on how different stakeholders might work to encourage greater understanding and implementation of these obligations, including further research, expert roundtables and information-sharing, development of guidelines and related advocacy campaigns.
Scholars at Risk announces the release of Free to Think, a report of the Academic Freedom Monitoring Project. The culmination of four years of monitoring and analysis by SAR staff and researchers around the world, the report analyzes 333 attacks on higher education communities in 65 countries from January 2011 to May 2015, demonstrating the pressing need to raise awareness and document attacks on higher education:
- There is a crisis of attacks on higher education communities around the world.
- Attacks on universities, scholars and students are early warning signs of political, social and cultural insecurity.
- Universities and scholars are critical parts of national infrastructure that is essential to rebuilding conflict torn states.
The report calls on all stakeholders, including the international community, states, the higher education sector, civil society and the public at large to undertake concrete actions to increase protection for higher education communities, including documenting and investigating attacks, and holding perpetrators accountable.
This study on academic freedom seeks to get first-hand perspectives on the state of academic freedom and its protection at institutional and national levels, examining what policies and mechanisms are put in place to protect this freedom, how academic freedom is threatened or curtailed, and finally what recourse may be available to the members of the academic community to complain and seek redress concerning such violations.
Education is a fundamental human right of every woman, man and child. In states’ efforts to meet their commitments to making the right to education a reality for all, most have made impressive progress in recent decades. With new laws and policies that remove fees in basic education, significant progress has been made in advancing free education. This has led to tens of millions of children enrolling for the first time and the number of out of school children and adolescents falling by almost half since 2000. Important steps have also been taken with regard to gender parity and states have made efforts to raise the quality of education through improved teacher policies and a growing emphasis on learning outcomes.
Despite these efforts, breaches of the right to education persist worldwide, illustrated perhaps most starkly by the fact that 262 million primary and secondary-aged children and youth are still out of school. Girls, persons with disabilities, those from disadvantaged backgrounds or rural areas, indigenous persons, migrants and national minorities are among those who face the worst discrimination, affecting both their right to go to school and their rights within schools.
To respond to the challenges, the Right to Education Initiative (RTE) with UNESCO have developed this handbook to guide action on ensuring full compliance with the right to education. Its objective is not to present the right to education as an abstract, conceptual, or purely legal concept, but rather to be action-oriented. The handbook will also be an important reference for those working towards the achievement of SDG4, by offering guidance on how to leverage legal commitment to the right to education as a strategic way to achieve this goal.
Free to Think 2020 analyzes 341 attacks on higher education communities in 58 countries between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. The report draws on data from SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project and identifies trends related to attacks on higher education communities, including violent attacks on campuses in Afghanistan, India, and Yemen; wrongful imprisonments and prosecutions of scholars; restrictions on academic travel, deployed most prominently by authorities in Israel, Turkey, and the United States; pressures on student expression included sustained pressures in Colombia, India, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and South Africa; and legislative and administrative threats to university autonomy, including in Brazil, Ghana, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Turkey.
Free to Think 2020 analyzes 341 attacks on higher education communities in 58 countries between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. The report draws on data from Scholars At Risk’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project and identifies trends related to attacks on higher education communities, including violent attacks on campuses in Afghanistan, India, and Yemen; wrongful imprisonments and prosecutions of scholars; restrictions on academic travel, deployed most prominently by authorities in Israel, Turkey, and the United States; pressures on student expression included sustained pressures in Colombia, India, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and South Africa; and legislative and administrative threats to university autonomy, including in Brazil, Ghana, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Turkey.
Si les données sur les attaques contre l’éducation sont devenues plus largement disponibles grâce à une meilleure prise de conscience et aux efforts des organisations nationales et internationales et des organes de contrôle, des lacunes de données critiques subsistent. Les systèmes de signalement peuvent être absents, médiocres ou déconnectés des réponses efficaces aux attaques contre l’éducation. Les moniteurs, ainsi que les victimes et les témoins, peuvent faire face à des menaces pour leur sécurité, ou l’insécurité peut empêcher les observateurs d’accéder aux zones où des attaques se produisent. De ce fait, un grand nombre d’attaques et incidents d’utilisation militaire ne sont pas signalés, ce qui compromet les efforts de calcul de leur prévalence.
Même lorsqu’il existe des mécanismes de signalement, les données ne sont pas souvent ventilées par genre, âge, lieu, type d’attaque ou auteur. Les violations telles que le recrutement d’enfants et la violence sexuelle par les forces armées ou les groupes armés à l’école ou sur le chemin de l’école sont souvent sous-déclarées. Les impacts des attaques contre l’éducation et de l’usage militaire – comme les jours d’école perdus, les abandons et les fermetures d’écoles – restent difficiles à calculer en raison de ces écarts. Et même lorsque la collecte de données a lieu régulièrement, leur analyse et leur signalement ne se produisent pas toujours à intervalles réguliers.
Les pages suivantes présentent un Kit pratique pour collecter et analyser les données sur les attaques contre l’éducation exhaustif qui comble les lacunes susmentionnées dans la collecte de données ; favorise la collaboration intersectorielle sur la collecte, l’analyse et la communication des données ; et renforce et harmonise les définitions et les concepts liés aux attaques contre l’éducation.