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Global imperative of education rights


“Education is not a privilege reserved for the fortunate,” it is a human right carved out in international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 26 of the declaration maintains that “Everyone has the right to education,” highlighting its significance in every corner of the world.

The SDG 4 “Quality Education” incentivizes to make sure that “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning for opportunities for all” is attained. The SDG 4 supports lowering inequalities in education, both in terms of access and quality.

It also ensures that quality education is available to everybody, especially, poor children, children living in rural areas, people with disabilities, indigenous people and refugee children.

When children are given the opportunity to development to their full potential, they become productive adults, ready to reciprocate back to their communities and end the cycle of poverty. Therefore, “Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility.”

Right to education

About 244 million children and youth are bereft of education around the globe because of social, economic and cultural factors. Also, 98 pc of them live in the Sub Saharan Africa, which is also the region with the highest number of children who do not go to school.

Moreover, around 771 million young people and adults do not possess basic literacy skills, of which two thirds are women.

Education is an empowering right and one of the most commanding tools by which economically and socially marginalized children and adults can shift themselves away from poverty and participate to a full extent in society.

In order to unfold the transformational power of education and meet international markers of progress, for instance of those of the SDGs, everybody must have access to it. Therefore, “Binding countries to certain standards by way of law is one way of ensuring access to quality education is widened.”

Also Read: US completes $159.2 Million Sindh Basic Education Program

UNESCOs initiative on education

UNESCOs initiative on the evolving right to education is uncovering how international human rights instruments can be strengthened and developed further to shed light on today’s needs and challenges.

The initiative on the evolving right to education looks at how the right to education, as set out in international normative instruments, could be further solidified to meet evolving needs, and highlight the crisis of equity and relevance as set out in Our Common Agenda Policy Briefing “Transforming Education.”

To make sure of implementation, UNESO enables support to Member States to translate their legal obligations and political commitments on the right to education under a national structure through conducting research and knowledge sharing on how to apply the specific elements of this right.

Responsibility of states

States are obligated under international human rights law and “hold the principal responsibility for the direct provision of the rights to education,” however, “there are exceptions for specific contexts.”

Moreover, through the ratification of international human rights treaties, governments take on the responsibility to put in place domestic measures and legislation, that is consistent with their treaty obligations and duties.

Every country in the world has ratified at least one treaty, encapsulating one aspect of the right to education. This also means that all of them are expected to apply that right.

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