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Right to education: first mission to Kazakhstan by UN Special Rapporteur

GENEVA (9 September 2011) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, will visit Kazakhstan from 12 to 19 September 2011 to collect first-hand information on the situation of education in the country, with special focus on the authorities’ efforts to guarantee quality education and to ensure equality of opportunity in education.

“Education plays a central role in the empowerment of individuals and communities,” said Mr. Singh, who will visit Kazakhstan at the invitation of the Government. “Investment in an inclusive education system that responds to the needs of the most marginalized groups is crucial to consolidate democracy and to ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of economic development.”

During his first visit to the country, the UN independent expert will hold meetings with senior Government officials including the Minister of Education and Science and the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. He will also meet UN representatives, the donor community and non-governmental organizations. During his mission, Mr. Singh will visit education institutions in Astana and Almaty.

Based on the information collected, the Special Rapporteur will prepare a report and make recommendations on strengthening the education system using a human rights perspective. This report will be presented at the UN Human Rights Council in June 2012.

Mr. Singh will host a press conference to share his preliminary conclusions and observations on Tuesday 20 September 2011 at 10.00 at the U.N. building (Bukeykhan Str. 26).

Kishore Singh is the Special Rapporteur on the right to education since August 2010. He is an Indian professor specialized in international law, who has worked for many years with UNESCO for the promotion of the right to education, and advised a number of international, regional and national entities on right to education issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Singh has supported the development of the right to education in its various dimensions and worked to better understanding this right as an internationally recognized right.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/SREducationIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Kazakhstan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/KZIndex.aspx

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