Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education: 8th Consultation of Member States on their implementation

©UNESCO/Ministerio de Educación, School children, Florida Valle, Colombia

UNESCO regularly monitors the implementation of its standard-setting instruments; this is done, notably, through periodic consultations. By launching a consultation, UNESCO requests Members States to submit reports on the measures they take in order to implement the instruments (conventions for countries that have ratified and recommendations for all Member States).

The Convention and Recommendation, which celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 2010, reflect UNESCO’s constitutional mission of instituting collaboration among nations to “advance the ideal of equality of educational opportunities without regard to race, sex or any distinctions, economic or social.”

These instruments, which express the fundamental principles of non-discrimination and equality of educational opportunities, cover the right to education comprehensively.

The Convention has been recognized by UNESCO’s Executive as a key pillar of Education for All

Text of Convention

Under Article VIII of the Constitution of UNESCO, Member States are required to submit a report on the legislative and administrative provisions they have adopted and on other measures taken to implement the conventions and recommendations.

In accordance with the specific multi-stage procedure for the monitoring of the implementation of UNESCO conventions and recommendations for which no specific institutional mechanism is provided the frequency for submitting such reports is set at four-year intervals.

The purpose of reporting is to illustrate the action taken to implement the instruments, the progress achieved and the difficulties encountered by Member States.

UNESCO has so far conducted seven consultations and  the 8th Consultation covering the period 2006-2011 has just been completed.

When? In 2011 UNESCO Director-General requested Member States to submit national reports on the measures taken for the implementation of the two instruments.

An analytical report synthesizing the country reports has been prepared and will be submitted to the Executive Board and the General Conference this year.

Executive board document: EN | FR

Moreover, an extensive report on the results of this Consultation is also available: AR | EN | FR | ES | CH | RU

How?  Guidelines for the Preparation of reports were prepared and approved by the Executive Board in May 2011.

These Guidelines provide necessary orientations for the preparation of the reports

Why?  Beyond the fact that UNESCO’s Member States have the constitutional obligation to report to the Organization on measures they take for implementing UNESCO’s instruments, it is very important for States to participate in consultations. It is an opportunity to assess the progress achieved in this field and identify the challenges in order to adopt measures, as well as to have a dialogue with the civil society on this area and share good practices.

A compendium of interesting practical examples in implementing the provisions of the Convention and the Recommendation was published.

The presented examples are taken from national State reports submitted to UNESCO for the 7th Consultation and therefore from countries which participated in the Consultation.

Aiming as it does at offering an overview of notable measures taken in applying the provisions of the instruments to ensure equality of education opportunities and non-discrimination; this document serves as an essential tool for information-sharing and advocacy in connection with the right to education.

It is important to note that the Recommendation, which is monitored in conjunction with the Convention, sought to take into account the difficulties that certain States might experience in ratifying the Convention. The reporting obligation under the provisions of Article VII of the Convention and of the Recommendation is the same.

More information on the Convention and the Recommendation:

Ten reasons why the Convention against Discrimination in Education is highly significant in today's world

Significance of the Convention against Discrimination in Education

Commentary on the Convention against Discrimination in Education

Comparative analysis between UNESCO’s Convention against Discrimination in Education and Articles 13 and 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The right to education

List of states parties to the Convention

More information on Monitoring:

Monitoring standard-setting instruments of UNESCO

The Right to education: an analysis of UNESCO's standard-setting instruments

More information on standard-setting instruments


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