Special Rapporteur Urges Action Against Discrimination in Education
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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In a special report, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education has called on UN Member States to fight discrimination to ensure that all children have access to education.

The report reviews the role of equity and inclusion in strengthening the right to education, particularly in the context of achieving the SDGs.

The UN reports that 263 million children around the world are not receiving education, due to a range of factors.

23 October 2017: The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Koumbou Boly Barry, has called on UN Member States to fight discrimination to ensure that all children have access to education, fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 (quality education). The UN reports that 263 million children around the world are not receiving education, due to a range of factors, including being migrants or refugees, or because of their cultural, linguistic or ethnic background.

A number of factors influence whether or not children have the chance to be educated, including their status as migrants or refugees, poverty, disabilities, living in rural areas, being nomadic and being girls.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated the Special Rapporteur’s report (A/72/498) to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 23 September. The report reviews the role of equity and inclusion in strengthening the right to education, particularly in the context of achieving the SDGs. The report highlights a number of factors that influence whether or not children have the chance to be educated include poverty, disabilities, living in rural areas, being nomadic and being girls. The report cites studies from around the world indicating the dimensions of the problem and provides examples of national actions that have been effective in promoting equity and inclusion in the educational sphere.

The report calls for governments to identify people and groups in need of specific, targeted support and to review their laws and policies to address those needs. Such action, the report argues, must include collecting and publishing disaggregated data and should encompass all aspects of education from early childhood care to adult literacy programmes.

The report concludes by calling for States to take significant, positive actions to tackle discrimination, inequity and exclusion in education to ensure that the SDGs are met.

Koumbou Boly Barry is from Burkina Faso, and was appointed Special Rapporteur on the right to education in 2016. [OHCHR Press Release] [Publication: A/72/496]

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