EDUCATION POLICIES AND STRATEGIES
The Right to Education: An Analysis of UNESCO’s Standard-setting Instruments
Yves Daudet, Kishore Singh
Education Policies and Strategies 2
The Right to Education : An Analysis of UNESCO’s Standard-setting Instruments
Yves Daudet, Kishore Singh
Authors: Yves Daudet,
Professor of International Law, Université de Paris I – PanthéonSorbonne and Vice-President of the University
Kishore Singh, Programme Specialist, Education Sector, UNESCO, Paris
The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of the facts contained in this work and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization. The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Any part of this publication may be freely reproduced with the appropriate acknowledgement.
Published in 2001 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP
© UNESCO 2001 Original in French Printed in France
The plight of millions of children and adults with no access to basic education in today’s “knowledge society” calls for sweeping measures to guarantee education for all. The World Education Forum held in Dakar in April 2000 gave new impetus to an international movement for achievement of the right to education for all. This was occasion for a renewed commitment, under UNESCO’s auspices, to this noble goal. The right to education is central to UNESCO’s mission: to ensure “full and equal opportunities for education for all”. Guided by that fundamental mission, UNESCO has elaborated standard-setting instruments that give expression to that right in all its aspects. The Dakar Framework for Action – the most recent instrument, adopted at the World Education Forum – vigorously reaffirms the right to education, thus strengthening its moral and political but also legal foundation, with a view to achieving this right for our children and grandchildren: ensuring that all peoples, the world over, receive proper schooling is the greatest moral challenge of our time. Faced with this challenge, UNESCO, which is responsible for coordinating the movement launched at the World Education Forum, needs to act with renewed momentum. It should concentrate on monitoring the implementation in Member States of the international instruments developed by the Organization, particularly since Member States play the central role in UNESCO’s standard-setting activity. I take great pleasure and interest in introducing this publication, The Right to Education: An Analysis of UNESCO’s Standard-setting Instruments. It highlights the scope and richness of UNESCO’s standard-setting activity in order to make it more widely known. It sheds new light on the right to education by analysing all of UNESCO’s instruments in support of that right as a coherent whole. This analysis gives us a greater appreciation of both the legal and the moral force of these instruments, bearing in mind those who are beneficiaries of the right to education. It also deals with the organization by UNESCO of means and mechanisms of follow-up – control procedures and, in particular, follow-up action – to conventions, declarations and recommendations, regardless of their binding nature. This study shows how broad UNESCO’s standard-setting action actually is, covering as it does tangible measures for fully implementing the right to education.
This work comes in response to the Organization’s concern to bring its standardsetting instruments into broader use, with the support not only of Member States as prime move