Purpose of the mandate
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education was established to examine the crucial issue of the right of all persons to access quality education without discrimination, and to provide recommendations to Governments and other stakeholders. The Special Rapporteur addresses issues of availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability of education, from pre-primary to tertiary levels, including in non-formal education systems or mechanisms.
More about the human right to education.
About the mandate
The Special Rapporteur on the right to education is an independent human rights expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. First established in 1998, the mandate was most recently renewed in 2020 under
More about the
history of the mandate and the resolutions that established it.
Current mandate holder
Ms. Koumbou Boly Barry, from Burkina Faso, was appointed Special Rapporteur in 2016 at the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council. The fourth expert to serve since the mandate was established, Dr. Boly Barry holds a PhD in Economic History from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal. She is the former Minister of Education and Literacy of Burkina Faso, and has consulted widely for various governments and international institutions on the right to education. Read
Ms. Koumbou Boly Barry’s full biography.
Latest thematic reports
The cultural dimensions of the right to education, or the right to education as a cultural right: The new report of the Special Rapporteur is now available and will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2021.
View report page | View easy-to-read summary (English | Français | Español) | View document
Interrelations between the right to education and the rights to water and sanitation: This report, presented to the UN General Assembly in October 2020, explores the synergies between the right to education and the rights to water and sanitation, including hygiene and menstrual health and hygiene. It sets out guidelines for the provision of water and sanitation in educational settings, so that the right to education may be attained.
View report page | View
easy-to-read summary | View document
Impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the right to education: The Special Rapporteur explores key issues such as structural discrimination and rising inequalities, the digitalisation of education, and the rights of teachers in this June 2020 report. She provides recommendations to governments and stakeholders on ways to face the education crisis.
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Latest country reports
Mission to Qatar (8-16 December 2019)
Mission to Tunisia (7-12 April 2019)