Regional forum "Education beyond borders: Regional solidarity for the guarantee of the right to education for people on the move"

Type of event: Experts meeting (closed event).
Date: 7-9 August 2019
Venue: Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean
City: Santiago, Chile
Contact: Cecilia Barbieri, c.barbieri(at); Paula Klenner, pv.klenner-forttes(at)

In September 2015, at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development held in New York, Member States formally endorsed the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. This global agenda contains 17 objectives, including the new world education goal (SDG 4). This goal is to 'ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” and has seven targets and three means of implementation. This global priority was agreed through an intensive consultation process coordinated by Member States, but with broad participation by civil society, teachers, trade unions, bilateral entities, regional organizations, the private sector, foundations and research institutes.

In succession to the Declaration of Incheon (2015) and the I Regional Meeting of Ministers of Education of Latin America and the Caribbean (2017) held in Buenos Aires that resulted in its consequent Declaration, Ministers of Education, high-level government representatives, representatives of United Nations agencies, regional bodies, civil society organizations and other partners in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda committed themselves to developing a consensual road map for the regional implementation of SDG-E2030, including coordination, communication and follow-up mechanisms that would respond to the region's expectations, realities and educational priorities.

Specifically, in the Declaration of Buenos Aires, Ministries of Education of the region adopted the commitment to direct their efforts towards developing education systems featuring “better responses and capacity for adaptation and resilience, to guarantee the rights and to meet the needs of migrants and refugees, in accordance with national policies; taking into account the global challenges associated with conflict, violence, discrimination, pandemics and disasters” (UNESCO, 2017, p.12). In addition, the members of the SDG-E2030 Regional Steering Committee agreed at their first meeting to carry out actions focused on equity and educational inclusion, one of the four regional priorities.

In recent times, these international commitments have acquired a renewed relevance, considering the context of human mobility in Latin America and the Caribbean. This relevance has been marked by the progressive transformation of the origin of the population in a context of mobility, a significant increase in intraregional mobility over the past few decades and the presence of massive flows of displacement over recent years. These new trends in intraregional mobility and their associated factors have resulted in a substantial increase in humanitarian assistance needs of people in contexts of mobility and the emergence of important challenges for host countries in regards to migratory management and the guaranteeing the rights of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and returnees.

In relation to the educational response to this situation, States face important challenges in the implementation of educational planning processes to absorb the demand in large-scale mobility contexts. This also includes challenges regarding securing inclusive social and learning environments, considering the needs of people in a context of mobility and the host society, as well as the definition of mechanisms for the recognition of previous of education, degrees, certificates and prior knowledge at regional level.

In order to support the countries of the region in addressing these challenges, UNESCO has developed the UNESCO Regional Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean in response to the situation of people on the move 2019-2021, organized in three priority strategic areas: 1) Planning for access to education systems, 2) Inclusive educational and social environments, and 3) Recognition of prior education and knowledge. The objective of this Regional Forum is to share experiences, present the UNESCO Regional Strategy, and discuss regional responses and needs in the three priority areas for guaranteeing the right to education of people on the move.

General objective:
Through the dialogue of the committed actors present, the aim of the forum is to establish a framework for regional collaboration and strategic definitions for guaranteeing the right to education of people on the move.

Specific objectives:

  • Analyzing the main challenges in regards to the educational response to contemporary human mobility flows and through the interexchange of significant experiences in order to approach and address issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Discussing the needs and possibilities for regional cooperation on the main challenges analysed.
  • Presenting the UNESCO Regional Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean in response to the situation of people on the move and identify modalities of collaboration associated with it.

Expected Results

  • Promote the development of a mapping of activities and tools that the different actors at the regional level have developed and implemented to contribute to the guarantee of the right to education of people on the move. 
  • Define key areas of work at the regional level and agree on joint activities, with a cross-sectoral perspective, to address the exisiting gaps for the implementation of the SDG-E2030 agenda in the region, with particular attention to the challenges associated with guaranteeing the right to education of people on the move.
  • Identify concrete opportunities to improve the collaboration between the partners of education and share experiences, particularly in the framework of the regional roadmap and the UNESCO Regional Strategy for Latin America and Carribean in response to the situation of people on the move 2019-2021.

The meeting will include presentations and group discussions. The modality will involve a participatory and interactive practical work where participants will discuss strategies and map future actions and activities. At each the session, guests and specialists will present a core group of topics as a starting point for the discussion.

The meeting convenes representatives from Ministries of Education of the region, representatives of governmental institutions in charge of the implementation of the migration policy of the countries, experts in the field of education, United Nations agencies, and representatives of civil society.

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