UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education

The UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education was adopted on 14 December 1960 and entered into force on 22 May 1962. 

Article 1 

    1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "discrimination" includes any distinction, exclusion, limitation or preference which, being based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition or birth, has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing equality or treatment in education [...].
Article 2 
When permitted in a State, the following situations shall not be deemed to constitute discrimination, within the meaning of Article 1 of this Convention. [...] 

(b) The establishment or maintenance, for religious or linguistic reasons, of separate educational systems or institutions offering an eduaction which is in keeping with the wishes of the pupil's parents or legal guardians, if participation in such systems or attendance at such institutions is optional and if the education provided conforms to such standards as may be laid down or approved by the competent authorities, in particular for education of the same level.

Article 5 
1. The States Parties to this Convention agree that: 

(a) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality an d to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; it shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace; 

(b) It is essential to respect the liberty of parents and, where applicable, of legal guardians, firstly to choose for their children institutions other than those maintained by the public authorities but conforming to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or approved by the competent authorities and, secondly, to ensure in a manner consistent with the procedures followed in the State for the application of its legislation, the religious and moral education of the children in conformity with their own convictions; and no person or group of persons should be compelled to receive religious instruction inconsistent with his or their conviction; 

Source: UNTS, vol. 429, p.93. A full text version of the UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Eduaction can be found on the Homepage of the United Nations HIgh Commissioner for Human Rights. 

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