In Lebanon—a country of around 4.5 million citizens—almost one in four people today is a refugee. Since the start of the Syria conflict in 2011, 1.1 million Syrians have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the Lebanese Government puts the total number at 1.5 million.

This report is the first of a three-part series addressing the urgent issue of access to education for Syrian refugee schoolchildren in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. The series will examine the various barriers preventing Syrian children from accessing education and call on host governments, international donors, and implementing partners to mitigate their impact in order to prevent a lost generation of Syrian children.

This document lists the international instruments that refer to the right to rducation of migrants, refugee and internally displaced persons with their relevant provisions.

 

In 2018, the international community will meet to adopt a new Global Compact on Refugees; a product of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The Compact promises that ‘all refugee children will be in school and learning within a few months of arrival’ and commits to ‘prioritise budgetary provision to facilitate this, including support for host countries as required’. The opportunity to advance this agenda is now. However, commitments without actionable plans do not deliver results.  

The report ‘Time to act: a costed plan to deliver quality education to every last refugee child’ sets out a realistic, global plan to ensure refugee children get to go to school. Save the children challenges governments and international agencies to deliver on the promises they have made with practical action.

This report tells the stories of some of the world’s 7.4 million refugee children of school age under UNHCR’s mandate. In addition, it looks at the educational aspirations of refugee youth eager to continue learning after secondary education, and highlights the need for strong partnerships in order to break down the barriers to education for millions of refugee children.

Education data on refugee enrolments and population numbers is drawn from UNHCR’s population database, reporting tools and education surveys and refers to 2017. The report also references global enrolment data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics referring to 2016.

 

General comment No. 20: Non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights (art. 2, para. 2, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)

This paper, aimed at education policymakers, provides analysis and insights on how the right to education for refugees could be ensured from a policy perspective. It does so by reviewing the current status of access to education of refugees, using the scant data that is available in this area. It also outlines some of the extensive barriers to education that refugees face, with recognition of the multifaceted, interlinked and complex nature of exclusion. It provides an overview of the international normative frameworks and global agendas on education that can be applied to refugees to ensure their right to education and achieve SDG 4. Additionally, this document presents practical examples, good practices, and promising measures taken by countries in order to ensure the inclusion of refugees in their national systems and better guarantee the fulfilment of their right to education. As a result of this research, collaboration and the invaluable contributions from the participants in a dedicated Expert Meeting in Barcelona (2018), a set of policy recommendations are provided in the last chapter which aims to guide policymakers to ensure equal access to good quality education for refugees.

UNESCO’s 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report, Migration, displacement and education: Building bridges not walls, highlights countries’ achievements and shortcomings in ensuring the right of migrant and displaced children to benefit from a quality, inclusive education, a right that serves the interests of both learners and the communities they live in. 

Read the report, here.

Key resource
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Koumbou Boly Barry, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolutions 8/4 and 26/17. In this report, the Special Rapporteur focuses on the right to education for refugees.
Key resource

This paper was commissioned by the Global Education Monitoring Report as background information to assist in drafting the 2019 GEM Report, Migration, displacement and education: Building bridges, not walls.

In 2017, there were an estimated 258 million people living outside their country of origin. Of them, about 30 million were school-aged. Migrants include different groups such as refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers, stateless, undocumented migrants and internal displaced persons. The right to education of migrants, irrespective of their legal or migration status, is guaranteed under international law on the basis of the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination. The main treaties guaranteeing the right to education apply to all migrants. In addition, migrant-specific treaties include provisions on the right to education. This international legal framework applies only to the extent that states have committed to it. At national level, migrants face legal and practical barriers to effectively enjoying their right to education. Some states show good examples of protecting the right to education of migrants in law and in practice.

 

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