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UN Human Rights Council Adopts New Right to Education Framework (the Abidjan Principles)

16. Juli 2019 - 11:04

 

(Geneva, 15 July 2019) The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) unanimously adopted last Thursday a new resolution on the right to education and in doing so firmly recognised the Abidjan Principles on the right to education. This is the first formal recognition to date by States of this new instrument, the Human Rights Council being made up of 47 States elected by their peers. 

The Abidjan Principles were adopted in February 2019 by over 50 eminent experts on the right to education, following a three-year consultative process with decision-makers, communities and practitioners. This landmark text unpacks existing human rights law regarding the obligations of States to provide public education and to regulate private involvement in education. It is quickly becoming one of the reference instruments on the right to education, in particular in the context of the growing privatisation and commercialisation of education worldwide.

The recognition by the Human Rights Council of the Abidjan Principles is truly historic. It is a reflection of the rigour behind the process to draft these Principles, and of the demand from States to have more precise guidance and a coherent rights framework to reflect on their education policies”, said Delphine Dorsi, from the Right to Education Initiative. 

The HRC resolution on the right to education was adopted unanimously without a vote, and has been sponsored so far by 75 States from every region. This broad support reflects the many positive statements regarding the Abidjan Principles made by States during the dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to an education that took place in Geneva two weeks ago. A range of States from all continents - including in particular Ivory Coasts, where the Principles were adopted - supported the inclusion of the Abidjan Principles in the resolution.

I am delighted that African States and institutions at the highest level are taking the lead in responding to the increasing threats to the right to education, in particular the unregulated growth of the private sector. This is a worldwide phenomenon however, and it is important that global standards be set, as the Human Rights Council did,” stated Paulin Junior Kouamé, from the Ivorian Network for the Promotion of Education for All.

 

This resolution adds to the growing momentum in support of the Abidjan Principles. In May, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution recognising the Abidjan Principles as guidelines for States to meet their human rights obligations. In June, the Global Partnership for Education, the main global multilateral fund for education, took note of the Abidjan Principles in its new private sector engagement strategy. The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education also dedicated her June 2019 report to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education in accordance with the Abidjan Principles. 

Salima Namusobya, from the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights, commented: “The Human Rights Council Resolution sends a powerful message, as States are currently meeting in New-York to review the implementation of SDG 4. We are still far from meeting the SDG 4 targets, including to ensure 12 years of free quality education for all. The human rights framework offers not only a set of legally binding norms, but also tools that will enable States to fund and develop quality public education systems and put in place adequate regulation of private actors.

In a statement released today, the nine members of the committee that drafted the Abidjan Principles also welcomed the milestone HRC resolution. 

There is now a global movement to put the right to education at the core of education policies. After years of failed attempts to improve education delivery by privatising or commercialising education systems, States and education stakeholders are realising that creating an anarchical education market is failing to deliver on the right to education, and that norms and standards are needed if we are serious about developing fair education systems”, added Sylvain Aubry, from the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

As in previous years, the HRC resolution also recognises “the significant importance of investment in public education” and urges States, among other recommendations, “to put in place a regulatory framework to ensure the regulation of all education providers” in order to address “any negative impact of the commercialization of education and strengthens access to appropriate remedies and reparation for victims of violations of the right to education”.

 

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Documents

 

Contacts

 

 

Signatories

  • ActionAid International
  • Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ)
  • Amnesty International
  • Bihar Education Policy Center
  • Brazilian Campaign for the Right to Education
  • Centre de Recherché et d'Action pour le Developpement Haiti
  • Coalition des Organisations en SYnergie pour la Défense de l’Education Publique, Sénégal (COSYDEP)
  • East African Centre for Human Rights
  • Equal Education 
  • Equal Education Law Centre
  • Ghana National Education Coalition Campaign
  • Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Hakijamii
  • Human Dignity
  • Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER)
  • Ivorian Network for the Promotion of Education for All (FIP-EPT)
  • Just Fair
  • Nitya Bal Vikas Deutschland e. V.
  • Regroupement Education Pour Toutes et pour Tous (REPT) Haiti
  • Right to Education Initiative
  • Society for International Development
  • Solidarité Laïque 

 

 

 

 

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Defending the Right to Food in Age of Digitalization: Exploring the impacts of dematerialization, digitalization and financialization on our food systems

11. Juli 2019 - 18:52

Please join us on Friday 12 July in New York for the side event “Defending the Right to Food in Age of Digitalization:  Exploring the impacts of dematerialization, digitalization and financialization on our food systems.” From 13:15-14:45. You can RSVP here

 

Learning from the edition of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch “When Food Becomes Immaterial”, this interactive dialogue will create the opportunity to discuss key issues related to the future of our food system, as technology continues to play a increasing role that also challenges human rights. 

 

Over the past few decades, public goods, such as water, education and health – the pillars of human rights – have increasingly been transformed into tradable commodities. Food, of course, has been traded for centuries, yet the recent failure in market regulation has led to its full commodification. As a result, it has contributed to the dispossession of productive resources. This affects peasant communities, damages the environment, and changes our diets for the worse.

 

Further to this, three intertwined dynamics – dematerialization, digitalization and financialization – are now altering the nature of both tradable goods and the markets where they are exchanged. Our food systems are at an important crossroads. There is now widespread recognition of the failure of the agro-industrial food system even by the World Economic Forum, and other actors who previously promoted the Green Revolution. Despite their recent damnations, these same organizations and actors now claim to have a new 'solution'. This so-called , known as ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ in 'innovative thinking' proposes a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. This presents a new narrative which all of us must engage in to confront the threats that lie ahead.

 

Hope to see you there!     Event Location: New YorkEvent Date: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 13:15 to 14:45Contact Details: 

For any questions you can contact mattheisen@fian.org or fsonkin@sidint.org 

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Sustainable Development Needs Fundamental Governance Changes - Spotlight Report

8. Juli 2019 - 17:46

New York, 8 July 2019: “The world is off-track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most governments have failed to turn the transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda into real transformational policies. Even worse, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise in a growing number of countries.”

“The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is not just a matter of better policies. It requires more holistic and more sweeping shifts in how power is vested, including through institutional and governance reforms.”

“A simple software update is not enough – we have to revisit and reshape the hardware of sustainable development, i.e. governance and institutions at all levels.”

This is the main message of the Spotlight Report 2019, one of the most comprehensive independent assessments of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The report is launched on the day before the opening of the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York by a global coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions.

“The Spotlight Report 2019 shows, that structural transformation is more needed than ever before. It has to start at the local and national level and requires strengthening bottom-up governance and governance coherence.”

“At global level the upcoming review of the High-Level Political Forum should be used to overcoming the weakness of this body and transform it to a Sustainable Development Council of the United Nations.”

“The SDG Summit in September, and even more the year 2020 with the 75th anniversary of the United Nations will provide important opportunities to translate the calls of the emerging global movements for social and environmental justice into political steps towards a new democratic multilateralism.”

The 190-page report is supported by a broad range of civil society organizations and trade unions, and informed by the experiences and reports of national and regional groups and coalitions from many parts of the world. The contributions cover most aspects of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs (and beyond), and reflect the rich geographic and cultural diversity of their authors.

The Spotlight Report is published by the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Global Policy Forum (GPF), Public Services International (PSI), Social Watch, Society for International Development (SID), and Third World Network (TWN), supported by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

For more info visit www.2030spotlight.org

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