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First visit to Mexico by the UN expert on the right to education

GENEVA (5 February 2010) - Indigenous education, education for migrants and education of vulnerable children are among the issues to be assessed in Mexico by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Vernor Muñoz, during his visit to the country from 8 to 18 February 2010.
“This mission will allow us to study the efforts undertaken by Mexico while implementing the right to education, the measures adopted for its successful realization, and the obstacles encountered both at the national and international level,” said Mr. Muñoz, announcing the first visit to the country by a Special Rapporteur on education from the Human Rights Council.
The UN expert will also evaluate the reform programs adopted by the Mexican Government on education issues and the differences in access to education between the north and south of the country, as well as urban and rural areas. In this context, Mr. Muñoz will pay particular attention to the quality of education, especially for children from indigenous communities, migrants and other economically and socially disadvantaged groups.
The Special Rapporteur, who will visit primary and secondary schools and public universities, will meet with Government and civil society representatives, including NGOs. He will also hold discussions with educators, academics, students and unions’ representatives.
The mission will take him to Mexico City and to the cities of Tapachula, Tuxtla Gutierrez and San Cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas; Monterrey, in Nuevo Leon; and Tijuana, in Baja California.
Based on the information collected during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in 2010.
Mr. Muñoz (Costa Rica), who was appointed Special Rapporteur in August 2004 by the UN Commission on Human Rights, is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. The Commission first decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur to examine questions relevant to the right to education in 1998. The mandate was renewed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2008 for an additional three-year period.
Mr. Muñoz is currently Professor of Human Rights at the Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos of the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. He has been Professor of Human Rights, Philosophy of Law and Civil Law in public and private universities in his country, as well as visiting professor at various universities in the world.