UNESCO Beirut

Director of UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States Dr Hamed Al-Hamami calls on educational partners to commit to inclusive education and to prevent any form of discrimination while promoting equality in educational opportunities

On the occasion of the Global Action Week for Education 2019 (24 April to 1 May) and in the framework of the RightToEducation campaign, focused this year on making the right to an inclusive, equitable, quality, free public education a reality, I call on educational partners to urge all States to ratify the Convention against Discrimination in Education, the only legally binding international treaty exclusively dedicated to the right to education.

Although education has become recognized as a basic human right, it is still not a reality for millions of children, youth and adults. We reaffirm, through this Convention adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 1960, that education is a fundamental right and we underscore States’ obligations to ensure free and compulsory education and to ban any form of discrimination while promoting equality of educational opportunity, with a focus on:

  • Children and youth with disabilities, and advocacy for accessible infrastructure and school material;
  • Children and young migrants / refugees and students in conflict areas;
  • Girls’ education and gender equality in education;
  • Vulnerable, disadvantaged and poor communities (including working children);

Through this call, we urge Member States that have not yet ratified this Convention to do so as it represents a cornerstone of the Education 2030 Agenda and a powerful tool to advance inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Education promotes peace, tolerance and integration, and it is a crucial factor in the eradication of poverty. Education enables children and youth to make full use of their capacities and potential.  

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