"Achieving the right to education for all is one of the biggest challenges of our times. The second International Development Goal addresses this challenge: universalizing primary education in all countries by 2015. This is also one of the main objectives set at the World Education Forum (April 2000), where the right to basic education for all was reaffirmed as a fundamental human right.
The fundamental question is how the obligations relating to the right to education undertaken by Member States under international and regional instruments are incorporated into national legal systems? This is all the more important for achieving the Dakar goals, in keeping with the commitments made by Governments for providing education for all, especially free and compulsory quality basic education. But in spite of such legal obligations and political commitments, millions of children still remain deprived of educational opportunities, many of them on account of poverty. They must have access to basic education as of right, in particular to primary education which must be free. Poverty must not be a hindrance and the claim by the poor to such education must be recognized and reinforced."
The Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE, by its Spanish acronym) is a pluralistic network of civil society organizations with a presence in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, which promotes social mobilization and political advocacy to defend the human right to education. This collection of articles, essays and statements reflect on the vital role of public education in the region and the fault lines exposed by the pandemic, considering both the challenges public education in Latin America faces and possible solutions, alternatives and ways forward.
In working towards creating inclusive education systems, many countries have failed to address discrimination and exclusion on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and
variations of sex characteristics. This is despite the fact that, as new data from Europe show, 54% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex youth surveyed had experienced bullying in school and 83% had witnessed some type of negative remarks addressed to someone else based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or variations of sex characteristics. In many other parts of the world, conditions do not even allow such data to be collected. While several countries have begun implementing changes in laws and policies, school-level interventions, curricula, and parental or community engagement, others not only avoid addressing the issues but are even taking measures that further exclude. Governments aspiring to respect their commitment to the goal of equitable and inclusive education by 2030 must protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex learners, improve monitoring of school-based bullying and violence, and create a positive, supportive learning environment.