Skip to main content

The cultural dimensions of the right to education or the right to education as a cultural right

Issued by

Special Rapporteur on the right to education


16 April 2021

presented to

the Human Rights Council, at its 47th session


Issued by Special Procedures


Economic, social and cultural rights, Education, Special Procedures

Symbol Number



The cultural dimensions of the right to education are crucial to ensuring that the universal right to inclusive and quality education is realized, as called for in Sustainable Development Goal 4. The Special Rapporteur calls for the right to education to be viewed as a cultural right – that is, as the right of each person to the cultural resources necessary to freely follow a process of identification, to experience mutually rewarding relations his or her life long, to deal with the crucial challenges facing our world and to engage in the practices that make it possible to take ownership of and contribute to these resources. What is unique about this approach is its conception of educational life as a living relationship between actors (students, educators, organizations and other associated actors) and collections of knowledge that form shared cultural resources, vectors of identity, values and meaning, without which action is impossible.


In order to benefit from diverse views and perspectives, the Special Rapporteur held an experts meeting in Geneva on 3 and 4 February 2020.

The Special Rapporteur also prepared a questionnaire which she sent out on 15 January 2020, inviting all interested stakeholders to share their contributions by 20 February 2020. Read more in the invitation letter and questionnaire below.

Inputs Received
Inputs Received

Member States

Local institutions

Intergovernmental organisations

National Human Rights Institutions

Civil society stakeholders

Other stakeholders