Promoting right to education among priorities for new UN independent expert

25 October 2010

The United Nations independent expert on the right to education today outlined his priorities, promising to pay attention to gender equality in education, look into quality with a special focus on improving conditions for teachers, and explore innovative education financing mechanisms.

Kishore Singh, who was appointed as UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education by the UN Human Rights Council in June, said he would also look into ways of strengthening legal frameworks that are essential for the protection of the right to education.

“The realization of the right to education involves the proper discharge of duties of parents, public servants, private providers and students themselves,” Mr. Singh said in his first address to the General Assembly in his capacity as Special Rapporteur.

“In this sense, we must continuously verify if human rights are respected inside the gates of our schools today. Thus, I will pay particular attention to the standards and mechanisms that ensure all educational entities comply with the standards provided by human rights law,” Mr. Singh said.

He said he will also tackle the issue of freedom from violence in the context of the right to education, and pay special attention to the freedom to establish educational institutions, while striving to ensure that all non-public educational entities comply with the goals and standards provided by human rights law.

On sex education, Mr. Singh referred to a report by his predecessor which he said highlighted a worrying lack of sustainable and comprehensive strategies to ensure adequate inclusion of sex education in educational and health policies.

“Without access to accurate information, many are exposed to abuse or risky practices that can lead to long lasting consequences to their physical and physiological wellbeing,” Mr. Singh said.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Investing in education will help advance global anti-poverty targets – UN

Top United Nations officials have stressed education as the key to progress towards achieving global social and development targets such as reducing poverty, enhancing gender equality and combating disease.