UNESCO and partners held a side meeting during the Transforming Education Pre-Summit, at UNESCO Headquarters entitled ‘Transforming education: the need to expand the international legal framework’. The report presents the main issues raised and suggested areas requiring further protection in the international legal framework on the right to education.
Higher education is too often dissociated from the right to education. In many countries tuition fees are on the rise, and only the privileged have access to, or succeed in completing, higher education, making it difficult to argue that there is an actual right to higher education to be enforced. However, international human rights law is clear: the right to education includes the obligation of states to ensure that higher education is made accessible to all based on capacity.
In addition, states have an obligation to progressively introduce free higher education, an obligation which is yet to be implemented globally. Confronted with drastic changes worldwide in terms of rising inequalities, human movement, growing digitalization and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is high time to clarify existing obligations as well as what aspects of the right to higher education might require further explanation considering new contexts and challenges.
This publication aims to help guide policy-makers, civil society and the international education community, to fully enforce the right to higher education and ensure that the human-rights based approach is placed at the heart of the higher education debate.
The Right to Education Initiative's 2020 Annual Report includes information about our strategy, our team and our supporters, and details activities and key achievements throughout the year.
Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our donors, whose contribution is noted in this report.
A global study of attacks on schools, universities, their students and staff, in 2020 and 2021.
Education is under attack around the world. From Afghanistan to Colombia, Mali to Thailand, students and teachers are killed, raped, and abducted, while schools and universities are bombed, burned down, and used for military purposes.
In 2020 and 2021, there were more than 5,000 reported attacks on education and incidents of military use of schools and universities, harming more than 9,000 students and educators in at least 85 countries. On average, six attacks on education or incidents of military use occurred each day.
In the 28 countries profiled in this report, at least 10 attacks on education occurred over the past 2 years.
The present report is submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to Human Rights Council resolutions 8/4 and 44/3. In the report, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Koumbou Boly Barry, considers early childhood care and education (ECCE) from a human rights-based perspective, reflecting the multisectoral needs of children and their caregivers.
ECCE combines the education and care requirements of children from birth to 8 years of age. The concept demonstrates that the right to education is indivisible from the rights to health, housing, food, water and sanitation, as well as cultural rights, among others. While the importance of ECCE has been widely recognized in humanitarian and developmental fields, it has been insufficiently codified in human rights law. The Special Rapporteur considers the human rights-based aspects of ECCE and recommends the creation of a human rights instrument on ECCE.
In her progress report, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education notes difficulties in the carrying out of her mandate which originate in inadequate servicing by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and also points out an innovative facet she has introduced, follow-up to her country missions, following the Commission’s emphasis on promoting the right to education.
The Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Ms. Farida Shaheed, visited UNESCO from 16 to 20 January 2023. This report reflects the discussions held on present and future challenges for the right to education with many people across the Organization as well as other stakeholders during the visit and subsequently. It contains a summary of the Special Rapporteur’s main findings and recommendations, in particular to enhance the cooperation between UNESCO and her mandate.
This report is a global investigation of the education technology (EdTech) endorsed by 49 governments for children’s education during the pandemic. Based on technical and policy analysis of 163 EdTech products, Human Rights Watch finds that governments’ endorsements of the majority of these online learning platforms put at risk or directly violated children’s privacy and other children’s rights, for purposes unrelated to their education.