Joint Oral Statement: New report takes firm approach to the implementation of the right to education and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), delivered at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council during the presentation of the UN Special Rapporteur on right to education's report about the implementation of the right to education and Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the context of the growth of private actors in education.
The climate emergency, rising inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic have reaffirmed the failures and limitations of the current neoliberal model to respond to crises and ensure a dignified life for all. Transformation in the organisation of our economy is needed in order to confront the challenges the world is currently facing and to create societies that are fair, inclusive, socially-just, equitable and sustainable.
To this end, actors from a diverse range of movements, sectors and regions have, in recent years, been mobilising to reclaim and rebuild public services as the foundation of a fair and just economy that works for all. Key milestones have included the first global “Future is Public” conference held in Amsterdam 2019, which brought together over 400 participants to discuss strategies for putting the “public” back into public services and to build democratic public ownership of the economy, and the launch of the collective civil society Global Manifesto on Public Services in October 2021, signed by over 200 organisations.
From 29th November to 2nd December over a thousand representatives from over one hundred countries, from grassroots movements, advocacy, human rights, and development organisations, feminist movements, trade unions, and other civil society organisations, met in Santiago, Chile, and virtually, to discuss the critical role of public services for our future.
Following the meeting, the Santiago Declaration on Public Services was adopted by a drafting group representing all sectors, on the basis of the notes and discussions during the four days.
We are at a critical juncture. At a time when the world faces a series of crises, from the environmental emergency to hunger and deepening inequalities, increasing armed conflicts, pandemics, rising extremism, and escalating inflation, a collective response is growing. A large movement is building and concrete solutions are emerging to counter the dominant paradigm of growth, privatisation and commodification.
Hundreds of organisations across socio-economic justice and public services sectors, from education and health services, to care, energy, food, housing, water, transportation and social protection, are coming together to address the harmful effects of commercialising public services, to reclaim democratic public control, and to reimagine a truly equal and human rights oriented economy that works for people and the planet.
We demand universal access to quality, gender-transformative and equitable public services as the foundation of a fair and just society.
Our Future is Public: Join our call for universal access to quality, gender-transformative and equitable public services as the foundation of a fair and just society. Read the Declaration, and endorse it here.
'RTE welcomes the Tashkent Declaration’s call for an enhanced legal framework and increased public expenditure for ECCE' was written by RTE following the adoption of the ‘Tashkent Declaration and Commitments to Action for Transforming Early Childhood Care and Education at the UNESCO World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education.
This statement summarises the most significant aspects of the Tashkent Declaration and our perspectives on the importance of this document for the protection of young children's ECCE rights.
This joint statement signed by RTE and 18 CSOs responds to a report published in September 2023 by the International Development Committee (IDC) of the UK House of Commons, entitled ‘Investment for development - The UK’s Strategy towards Development Finance Initiatives. The report’ raises major concerns about the UK’s investments as part of development aid which the signatory organisations working on education share and reiterate. In this joint statement we respond to this report and express our concern about the British International Investment’s (BII) activities and impacts in key sectors responsible for delivering human rights, including education and health.
School meals play a critical role in children’s lives. They are an essential intervention in development and humanitarian contexts, proven to have long-lasting impacts across multiple Sustainable Development Goals and sectors, including food security, nutrition and health, education, water and sanitation, child protection, gender equality, and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse. They are at the juncture of the right to food, the right to health and the right to education. They also offer enormous potential for the catalysation of food systems, with nutritious, locally-grown and appropriate foods, creation of jobs and contributions towards livelihoods, among other benefits. Civil society organisations have an essential role to play in supporting school meals programmes globally through collective advocacy, technical assistance, capacity sharing and fostering partnerships.
This joint statement contains our calls to action for equitable access to healthy and nutritious, sustainably sourced school meals.