06.12.2011 - Education Sector

Celebrating the right to education

©UNESCO/Mustafa R. M. Daras

Under human rights law, governments everywhere are obliged to facilitate the right to education, according to a recent UN report. They must also secure sustainable investment in education. Prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, the report also addresses education in contexts affected by conflict and disaster.

The right to education is also at the heart of an ongoing consultation of UNESCO Member States. Launched in September 2011, it concerns the implementation of the Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (2006-2011). 

An exhibition of graphic, brightly-coloured posters illustrating the right to education will be launched on 8 December in the context of the partnership between UNESCO and the NGO “Posters4tomorrow”. A video of the posters is on YouTube.  

Education as a human right and teaching and learning about human rights are two aspects of UNESCO’s rights-based work in education. Knowledge of rights and freedoms ensures  respect for the rights of all. Human rights education creates a “human rights-friendly” environment. It aims to develop learners’ competencies to apply a rights-based approach to everyday issues for a sustainable and peaceful future.  

UNESCO carries out human rights education projects on gender equality, violence prevention, ethics education and providing access to education for marginalized groups such as the Roma in Europe.  It aims to put into practice human rights education both in formal and non-formal educational settings. 

The organization has been promoting the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005-ongoing), in close cooperation with the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, targeting diverse communities, from students to civil servants to police officers.

As part of the strategy for Priority Africa, UNESCO is carrying out studies on Human rights and Education for Global Citizenship in 10 African countries. The studies aim at identifying problems related to their implementation and assisting countries in the region in their endeavours to adopt effective strategies, programmes and activities.




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