Kishore Singh: Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

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Dr. Kishore Singh, who was responsible for the right to education at UNESCO for many years, was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education by the UN Human Rights Council on 18 June 2010. He assumed his new functions with effect from 1 August 2010.

UNESCO's Education Sector welcomes the appointment of its former colleague to this prestigious position in the UN system, notably in the context of the Organization’s priority of achieving the right to Education for All (EFA). The mandate entrusted to the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education gives prominence to EFA as well as to Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3 relating to the right to education. This appointment offers new opportunities for UNESCO to collaborate in advancing the Organization’s work in this field in a UN system-wide perspective.

Challenges ahead include ensuring full compliance with the core obligation of providing primary education free of charge for all; universalizing access to basic education and progressing on other EFA goals. Other issues are the legal and policy questions necessary to ensure quality in education; the challenge of overcoming inequalities in education in law and in fact, as well as eliminating disparities in education; greater emphasis on the inclusive dimensions of the right to education and on intensifying normative action for its achievement, the enforcement and justiciability of the right to education; legal and policy framework for resource mobilization and investment in education etc.

The right to education is not only a human right in itself but also essential for the exercise of all other human rights. The fulfilment of the right to education is thus at the heart of the EFA process. More needs to be done to give it a much-needed impetus. UNESCO's collaboration with Dr Kishore Singh in his new functions as the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education can impart added value to the tasks being undertaken by the Organization in pursuit of its institutional mission for the right to education.

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