Normative Action

Free and compulsory primary education

©UNESCO/Dominique Roger
Free and compulsory primary education

In accordance with their founding instruments, the United Nations and UNESCO have been responsible for initiating most of the international instruments concerning education adopted since the end of the Second World War.

A large number of standard-setting instruments - conventions, declarations, recommendations, frameworks for action, charters - elaborated by UNESCO, the United Nations as well as those elaborated at regional level provide a normative framework for the Right to Education. These instruments attest to the great importance that Member States accord to normative action to realize this right.

They are of great importance because:

They define norms, reaffirm main principles and give them concrete substance; otherwise, they would remain "principles" whose application is not clear.

They give shape to Member States' commitment to the right to education to be given shape in terms of national level action.

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