Wednesday Seminar: 50 years of combating discrimination in education - Anniversary of the 1960 Convention against Discrimination in Education

©UNESCO/Victor M.Camacho
Access to education for everyone  

The Wednesday ED seminars aim to share knowledge about current education issues, inform our work and encourage discussion.

Recognized as a key pillar of Education for All (EFA) by UNESCO's Executive Board at its 170th session, the Convention against Discrimination in Education reflects 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". Today, five years away from the target date for achieving the EFA goals, the importance of the Convention in the EFA process must be fully recognized.

While there has been clear progress towards reaching the goals of education for all; the number of out-of-school children has dropped by 33 million since 1999, and the gender gap is narrowing in many countries; millions of children are still missing out on their education. Failure to reach the marginalized has denied large numbers of people their right to education.

The Convention against Discrimination in Education, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year, was adopted by UNESCO's General Conference on 14 December 1960. It expresses the fundamental principles of non-discrimination and equality of educational opportunities enshrined in UNESCO's Constitution. The Convention is the first major international instrument with binding force in international law which develops the right to education in all its dimensions.

Concrete measures taken by Member States contribute to this process, in accordance with their legal obligations under the Convention. Such efforts should focus on reaching the unreached, making education accessible and meaningful to those who remain deprived of it in today's "knowledge societies".

- Kishore Singh, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

- Pierre Michel Eisenman, Professor, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Speaker bios:
- 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. Mr. Singh, who holds a PhD in International Law from the Sorbonne University has advised a number of international, regional and national entities on aspects of the right to education.

- Professor Pierre Michel Eisenman is Tenured Professor (agrégé des Facultés de droit) Université de Clermont I (1983-1986), Université de Caen (1986-1990), Université Paris XIII (1990-1999), Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (since 1999). He is a Member of the French Delegation at UNESCO's Executive Board (Committee on Conventions and recommendations); a member of the Joint Expert Group UNESCO (CR)/ECOSOC (CESCR) on the Monitoring of the Right to education and of the Conciliation and Good offices Commission to be Responsible for Seeking the settlement of any Disputes which may Arise between States Parties to the Convention against Discrimination in Education.

Interpretation English – French provided


Type of Event Category 7-Seminar and Workshop
Start 15.12.2010 13:30 local time
End 15.12.2010 15:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Peppler-Barry, Ulrika
Organizer Education Sector
Contact Ulrika Peppler Barry: ; Martine Kayser: (logistique /logistics)
Country France
City Paris
Venue UNESCO Headquarters
Street 7, place de Fontenoy
Room Room IX
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French
Estimated number of participants
Official Website The Right to Education
Link 1 Le droit à l'éducation
Link 2
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