The Joint Expert Group UNESCO (CR)/ECOSOC (CESCR) on Monitoring of the Right to Education in its Second Meeting in May 2004 stated that both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention against Discrimination in Education (CADE) needed to be carefully examined in a comparative perspective. This should be guided by the General Comments and the Revised Guidelines of CESCR used for monitoring work and the new guidelines for monitoring the implementation of CADE. The Joint Expert Group noted that 83 States are parties to both the CADE and the ICESCR. There is thus the risk of overlaps in the work of the Committees (CESCR and CR) as well as of the States parties’ reports. It was therefore suggested that a document, “which brings out the common features as well as differences in CADE and ICESCR along with a chart of equivalent provisions and the States which are parties to both CADE and ICESCR” be prepared. The present document on the comparative analysis of Articles 13 and 14 of the Covenant and the Convention has accordingly been elaborated.

According to UNESCO, 264 million children and youth are still out of school around the world, and this is only accounting for the primary (61 million) and secondary school (203 million) age population. In particular, the poorest and most marginalised, including ethnic and religious minorities, persons with disabilities, girls, and populations experiencing conflict, are often systematically unable to access and complete a full cycle of quality education. The first volume of NORRAG Special Issue (NSI) is dedicated to examining international frameworks and national policy as well as the challenges of fulfilling the right to education in practice.

The inaugural issue of NSI on the Right to Education Movements and Policies: Promises and Realities aims to highlight the global and national level experience and perspective on guaranteeing the right to education, as outlined in international frameworks, national constitutions, legislation, and policy, when creating the required administrative structures to ensure that the right is respected, protected, and fulfilled for all.

The Issue is divided into six parts, each focusing on a specific theme of right to education policy and practice. The first part includes an article written by RTE staff on The Role of Court Decisions in the Realisation of the Right to Education, which draws on RTE's background paper on accountability for the GEM Report 2017-8.


Children in Afghanistan – and their households may face war, displacement, migration and natural disasters in trying to access education, in addition to more common difficulties such as poverty and lack of access. This study, part of the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics (UNESCO UIS), seeks to identify the barriers preventing children in Afghanistan from attending school, identify gaps in the current approaches to addressing these barriers and provide policy recommendations to move forward effectively. This is in line with the studies conducted elsewhere at the country and regional level for the out-of-school children initiative (OOSCI), based on existing data.


In this present report, the Special Rapporteur considers ways in which the right to education contributes to the prevention of atrocity crimes and mass or grave human rights violations. Stressing that education has a key role to play at all stages of prevention, the Special Rapporteur underlines the particularly forceful preventive potential of the right to education in the very early stages, before warning signs are apparent. That role is to be linked with the aims of education and the right to inclusive and equitable quality education, as established in international instruments.
Peace, acceptance of the “other”, respect for cultural diversity, the participation of all in the development of society and an education that is adequate and adapted to the specific needs of people in their own context are objectives of education that have been widely recognized by States and in human rights mechanisms at the international and regional levels. However, education is not afforded the importance or the funding it deserves and needs in order to play those roles.
The Special Rapporteur, highlighting circumstances under which schools can become tools for division and lay the groundwork for future violent conflicts, focuses on a number of steps regarding the organization of school systems, pedagogy and the values and skills to be transmitted to learners that are crucial in terms of prevention. She proposes an education framework (known in English as the “ABCDE framework”) that encompasses the interrelated features of education needed in order for the preventive potential of the right to education to be fully deployed. Namely, education should promote acceptance of self and others; a sense of belonging to society; critical thinking; diversity; and the capacity of learners to feel empathy for others. The right to inclusive and equitable quality education must be taken seriously and be prioritized if States and other stakeholders are serious in their commitment to prevent violent conflicts, atrocity crimes and mass or grave human rights violations
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Ce rapport met en lumière les obligations internationales ainsi que les engagements politiques concernant la promotion de ces aspects du système éducatif. Il analyse les normes et les règles élaborées dans le cadre des instruments internationaux et souligne l’importance d’une action normative au niveau national pour maximiser l’incidence de l’enseignement et de la formation techniques et professionnels sur le développement social et économique et sur l’autonomisation.

Le Rapporteur spécial met l’accent sur la spécificité du droit à l’enseignement et à la formation techniques et professionnelle et passe en revue les cadres juridiques et politiques nationaux en évolution. Il souligne la nécessité de garantir la qualité de cette formation et les responsabilités des différents acteurs impliqués dans sa mise en œuvre. Le rapport aborde aussi la question de l’importance de l’enseignement et de la formation techniques et professionnels eu égard à l’objectif de l’« Éducation pour tous » post-2015 et aux programmes de développement correspondant et propose en conclusion une série de recommandations. 



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 Le Rapporteur spécial consacre ce rapport à la question du droit fondamental à l’éducation sexuelle intégrale. Ce thème suscite l’intérêt et la préoccupation du mandat depuis ses origines. Le Rapporteur spécial introduit le thème du droit à l’éducation sexuelle en le situant dans le contexte du patriarcat et du contrôle de la sexualité. Il explique l’interdépendance entre la sexualité, la santé et l’éducation ainsi que son interaction avec d’autres droits, dans une perspective d’égalité entre les sexes et de diversité. Il présente le droit à l’éducation sexuelle dans le cadre du droit international des droits de l’homme, en analysant les normes internationales et régionales. À la suite, il présente la situation du droit international à l’éducation sexuelle en tenant compte de la responsabilité étatique, et en analysant les tendances par régions et par pays ainsi que les différentes perspectives et le rôle important de la famille et de la communauté.

Le Rapporteur spécial conclut son rapport en réaffirmant la nécessité et l’importance du droit à l’éducation sexuelle intégrale et en adressant des recommandations concrètes aux États et à la communauté internationale.



Este trabajo se basa en el informe N° 02-20, La regulación constitucional del derecho a la educación: recopilación de experiencias comparadas. Su objetivo es sintetizar, a partir de dicha información, los ordenamientos constitucionales estudiados e identificar las diversas tendencias regulatorias a nivel internacional. De esta forma, se pretende aportar a la discusión constitucional sobre la mejor forma de consagrar el derecho a la educación en una nueva constitución política.

The report was published in July 2020 by the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Koumbou Boly Barry. 

The obligation of States to ensure that educational facilities within their jurisdictions meet human rights standards requires a clear understanding of the synergies between the right to education and other human rights, and ways of further promoting the integration of those rights into practices. 

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education focuses on the interrelations between the right to education and the rights to water and sanitation, including hygiene and menstrual health and hygiene. She explores situations in which the failure to respect, protect and fulfil the rights to water and sanitation in education institutions impedes the realization of the right to education. She underlines that, conversely, the rights to water and sanitation, like many other human rights, cannot be fully implemented without the realization of the right to education, which enables people’s understanding, agency and autonomy in those areas. 

The report contains guidelines for the provision of water and sanitation in educational settings, for the realization of the right to education. The final section of the report contains recommendations for stakeholders.

For more information, you can also consult the factsheet of the report.