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Protecting and advocating for the right to education and rights through education

Tue, April 16, 5:00 to 6:30pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Atrium (Level 2), Garden Room A

Group Submission Type: Refereed Round-Table Session


The inalienable right of every child to a quality education was first acknowledged in 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that: everyone has the right to education and that it should be free at least at the primary level. Not only does everyone have the right to a free and compulsory primary education, that education should focus on full human development, strengthen respect for human rights, and promote understanding, tolerance and friendship (UDHR Article 26).

The 1960, UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education reinforces the right to a free and compulsory quality primary education as is laid out in the 1948 UDHR, and further mandates that discrimination in education is a violation of human rights. It sets out that discrimination in education includes any distinction, exclusion, limitation or preference that is based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition or birth.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 further defined children’s right to education. The Millennium Development Goals and other international conventions have since reinforced education as a universal right to be guaranteed to ALL CHILDREN.

There is a global commitment on behalf of us all, through SDG 4 on Education, to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030. Within this wider global framework, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has paid special attention to the need for ‘quality’ education. This overall goal includes a number of ‘dimensions’ that includes not only knowledge transfer but also values, skills, engagement and attitude.

The panel is inter-disciplinary with a focus on law, global governance, international education as well as experience from the field. The panel takes as a starting point that education is a fundamental human right through endorsing a ‘rights based’ approach to education. Accessing and receiving a quality education is a universal human right. Access to a quality education should respect and promotes the right to dignity and full development.

There are three important aspects of education as a human right:
• Participation in quality education in itself;
• The practice of human rights in education; and
• Education as a right that facilitates the fulfilment of other rights.

The right to education is safeguarded through multilateralism and international law. The right to education needs to be fulfilled through building systems and working with civil society. It also needs to be made concrete through engagement with the ‘right holders’ of the right to education such as students, teachers as well as the wider community and civil society within which education and educational facilities are embedded.

This panel looks at the right to education through three presentations that focus on:
• The importance of global partnership in protecting the right to education particularly in crisis, insecurity and armed conflict through advocacy on law and policy on national, regional and international level
• Methodologies and strategies used by education projects to advocate for policy and legal changes in order to give voice to the voiceless and ensure the right to education is indeed guaranteed for all; and
• How the design of civic leadership curriculum can promote youth (18 – 25) to become civic leaders and agents for change within Al Fakhoora’s higher education scholarship program in Gaza, thereby promotes the goals of inclusive social development, global citizenship and working towards peace and security in a situation of conflict and insecurity.

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