In this decision, the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutionality of section 12 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act), which requires all schools, both state-funded and private, to accept 25% intake of children from disadvantaged groups. However, the Court held that the RTE Act could not require private, minority schools to satisfy a 25% quota, as this would constitute a violation of the right of minority groups to establish private schools under the Indian Constitution. This case affirms that the authority of the State to fulfil its obligations under the right to education can be extended to private, non-State actors. Because the State has the authority to determine the manner in which it discharge this obligation, it can elect to impose statutory obligations on private schools so long as the requirements are in the public interest.

On 3 July 2018, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the violation of rights of Indigenous Peoples around the world. The Resolution 2017/2206(INI) stresses the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with regards to Indigenous Peoples, including SDG 4.5 on access to education, and reiterates that Indigenous Peoples around the world suffer disproportionately from violations of human rights and insufficient access to education, among other fundamental rights.

This document lists the international instruments and provisions relevant to the right to education of minorities and indigenous peoples.

The 51-page report, “‘Without Education They Lose Their Future’: Denial of Education to Child Asylum Seekers on the Greek Islands,” found that fewer than 15 percent of more than 3,000 school-age asylum-seeking children on the islands were enrolled in public school at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, and that in government-run camps on the islands, only about 100 children, all preschoolers, had access to formal education. The asylum-seeking children on the islands are denied the educational opportunities they would have on the mainland. Most of those who were able to go to school had been allowed to leave the government-run camps for housing run by local authorities and volunteers.

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)

In his report, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, provides a clear working definition of the concept of a minority in order to guide his activities and those of the United Nations. He describes a series of initiatives, including three regional forums that complement the Forum on Minority Issues. In the thematic section of his report, he sets out the often misunderstood language dimension of education for minorities, which emanates from the proper understanding and implementation of international human rights obligations. He describes the parameters of the application of human rights, and in particular the principles of equality without discrimination, as of primary importance for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education for all, including linguistic minorities such as users of sign languages.

China’s education policy in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is significantly reducing the access of ethnic Tibetans to education in their mother tongue. The government policy, though called “bilingual education,” is in practice leading to the gradual replacement of Tibetan by Chinese as the medium of instruction in primary schools throughout the region, except for classes studying Tibetan as a language. Since the 1960s, Chinese has been the language of instruction in nearly all middle and high schools in the TAR, where just under half of Tibetans in China live, but new educational practices introduced by the government in the TAR are now leading more primary schools and even kindergartens to use Chinese as the teaching language for Tibetan students.

Following the Iranian revolution of 1979, due to their affiliation with political or religious groups, a great number of Iranian students were temporarily or permanently deprived of their right to education. Many students were expelled from university for membership in non-Islamic groups. In recent years the number of students whom organizations under the supervision and control of the Iranian regime has banned or “starred” from education has increased dramatically.

The Right to Education Report aims to raise awareness by providing comprehensive reporting on cases of student rights violations and any other form of education deprivation in Iran throughout the last three decades.

In 2018, 17.2 million people were internally displaced as a result of natural disasters (IDMC 2019). Just one year later, in 2019, 24.9 million people were displaced due to natural disasters and extreme weather events (IDMC 2020). The catastrophic effects of climate change are no longer isolated emergencies, but have become the new global norm- a reality that is only intensifying each year. Yet the literature regarding climate change has little to no information on the specific nexus between climate displaced and their right to education.

Persons displaced by the effects of climate change face significant vulnerabilities with regard to accessing education: saturated school capacity, destroyed infrastructure, linguistic barriers, difficulties to have past qualifications recognized, discrimination, and more. This is why UNESCO commenced a new initiative: the Impact of Climate Displacement on the Right to Education. This is explored throughout this working paper. 

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.

 

 

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