This is the second publication in a series devoted to elucidating key dimensions of the right to education. It addresses the cardinal requirement of the right to education – ensuring free and compulsory education for all.

Cette Convention a pour objet non seulement la lutte contre la discrimination dans le domaine de l'enseignement, mais aussi l'adoption de mesures visant à promouvoir l'égalité de chances et de traitement dans ce domaine. Elle s'inspire donc de deux principes fondamentaux distincts, qui figurent aussi bien dans l'Acte constitutif de l'Organisation que dans la Déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme dont les articles Z et 26 proscrivent toute forme de discrimination et visent à promouvoir le droit a l'éducation pour tous. Toutefois , la portée des engagements pris par les Etats varie selon qu'il s'agit de lutter contre la discrimination ou de promouvoir l'égalité des chances. En vertu de l'article 3 de la Convention, les Etats s'engagent à prendre des mesures immédiates en vue d'éliminer et de prévenir toute discrimination au sens de la Convention , d'empêcher les différences de traitement et d'interdire les préférences et les restrictions dans divers domaines

 

The Expert Consultation on the Operational Definition of Basic Education, organised from 17 - 18 December 2007 at UNESCO, brought together eminent experts from different regions and further discussed a preliminary draft of operational definition that was initially proposed during the Experts’ Workshop on “Challenges and Perspectives of Law and Education” organised in Sao Paulo in December 2006.

This Consultation was part of UNESCO’s efforts to address the request by the Joint Expert Group UNESCO (CR)/ECOSOC (CESCR) on the Monitoring of the Right to Education and by experts during the “International Conference on the Right to Basic Education as a Fundamental Human Right and the Legal Framework for its Financing” (Jakarta, 2005), to initiate a reflection and dialogue process for the elaboration of an operational definition of basic education and to elaborate a definition that would be universally accepted and recognized.

In preparation for this meeting, UNESCO undertook a thorough analysis of recent policy and legal texts which illustrated the lack of linguistic consistency in the terms used to describe the initial stages of formal education (basic, elementary, primary, fundamental, secondary, basic learning needs, etc.). A Thematic Framework, prepared by the Secretariat of UNESCO presented the policy and international normative framework as well as the right to basic education in constitutions and national legislation.