Education is a fundamental human right under international law. While it should be a right that everyone is entitled to, migrants face multiple challenges in the enjoyment of their right to education.
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur aims to understand these challenges and considers the de facto and de jure situation of the right to education of migrants around the world. Through an analysis of international and regional legal frameworks and more than 500 relevant documents authored by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and United Nations bodies, the report presents its major findings in terms of the 4As framework for the right to education: availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability, as well as in terms of cross-cutting issues related to identity.

The report identifies key issues to ensuring the right to education of migrants, including the capacities of public educational institutions, and challenges migrants face in accessing educational facilities and quality educational opportunities that take into account the specific needs of migrant groups.

The report proposes key recommendations to improve the protection and guarantee the full enjoyment by migrants of their right to education through the implementation of the 4As framework for the right to education.

FRANÇAIS   ESPAÑOL

L’éducation est un droit humain fondamental en vertu du droit international. Alors que tout le monde devrait pouvoir s’en prévaloir, les migrants font face à de multiples obstacles dans l’exercice de leur droit à l’éducation. Dans le présent rapport, la Rapporteuse spéciale s’attache à comprendre ces obstacles et examine la situation, de facto et de jure, du droit à l’éducation des migrantes et des migrants dans le monde.

À l’issue de l’analyse des cadres juridiques internationaux et régionaux et de plus de 500 documents établis sur la question par des organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) et des organismes des Nations Unies, la Rapporteuse spéciale présente ses principales conclusions au regard du cadre des 4 A relatif au droit à l’éducation (adéquation des ressources, accessibilité, acceptabilité et adaptabilité), ainsi qu’au regard de questions transversales touchant l’identité. La Rapporteuse spéciale met en évidence les enjeux clés s’agissant de garantir le droit à l’éducation des migrantes et des migrants, notamment les capacités des établissements publics d’enseignement, et les difficultés rencontrées par les migrants pour accéder à des structures d’enseignement et à une éducation de qualité qui tiennent compte des besoins spécifiques des groupes de migrants.

Elle présente des grandes recommandations tendant à améliorer la protection du droit des migrants à l’éducation et à garantir la pleine jouissance par les migrants de ce droit par la mise en œuvre du cadre des 4 A en faveur du droit à l’éducation.

 

ENGLISH   ESPAÑOL

Key resource

Early childhood, defined as the period from birth to eight years old, is a crucial time for the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth of children. Access to quality early childhood care and education (ECCE), therefore, can be vital in laying the foundations for children’s long-term development, well-being, learning, and health. Despite this, universal and equitable access to free, quality, and compulsory pre-primary education is one of the major education challenges. One out of two children does not receive pre-primary education. While access to quality pre-primary education is inadequate globally, the opportunities for pre-primary education are drastically restricted for migrant children. Significant inequalities exist between migrant and local-born children in terms of quality access to pre-primary education.

This brief focuses on some of the important issues related to young migrant children’s access to ECCE and pre-primary education, and the key challenges in the existing legal framework.  It further proposes to strengthen the legal framework and policy development for the inclusion of ECCE in-migrant response strategies.

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.

The number of forcibly displaced persons is on the rise worldwide, and they are displaced for increasingly protracted periods. Access to education for refugee children and youth remains a major concern, including at the higher education level. While data on refugee access to higher education remain scarce and incomplete, it is estimated that only 3 per cent of refugees were enrolled in higher education in 2021. This figure stands in contrast to a global gross enrolment ratio (GER)1 in higher education of 38 per cent worldwide in 2018. Against this background, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has set the 15by30 target, meaning that by 2030 15 per cent of refugees should gain access to higher education. In order to reach this target, the access to host countries’ higher education systems is of particular importance, as 83 per cent of refugee youth who are enrolled in higher education (for whom data are available) are enrolled in their host countries. The present Policy Paper has analysed the empirical literature on the benefits of access to higher education for refugees. It shows that there are considerable direct benefits for refugee youth themselves, and also clear advantages for the host countries’ economies and social development, to which refugees contribute. Access to higher education enhances their motivation to succeed in pre-university education. It offers identity and social position, and access to skills development and economic opportunities, including through entrepreneurship, and therefore greatly enhances their social and economic integration and life chances.

This Policy Paper presents inclusive policies  and good practices from these countries and their HEIs, organized by type of obstacle to access. It concludes by presenting 15 recommendations on how host countries can support refugees’ access to their national systems, arguing strongly for an ‘equality of opportunity approach’ in terms of national policies, and also for caring measures at the level of HEIs. The 15 recommendations are made mainly for national policy-makers and planners, but also for HEIs, who share a combined responsibility and whose actions can mutually reinforce each other.

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