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Special Rapporteur on the right to education

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 resolution 44/3.

More about the history of the mandate and the resolutions that established it.

Current mandate holder

Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry, Special Rapporteur on the right to education © OHCHR PhotoMs. 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

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 A/75/178

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. View report page | View document A/HRC/44/39

Latest country reports

Mission to Qatar (8-16 December 2019)
View document A/HRC/38/32/Add.1

Mission to Tunisia (7-12 April 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/39/Add.2

Latest news


More press releases and statements...

Archived news
(over 3 years old)

Calls for input

The cultural dimension of the right to education
Closed: Report to be presented in June 2021

The right to education of migrants – details coming soon
Report to be presented to the General Assembly in October 2021

The digitisation of education – details coming soon
Report to be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2022

Activities

Special Rapporteur supports #RaiseAPen Campaign for girls’ education in Afghanistan
12 November 2020

Statement: the right to education must be implemented together with the rights to water and sanitation
21 October 2020

Video: “Enough is enough” – a conversation with Special Rapporteurs on privatisation and public services
19 October 2020

Former mandate holders

Mr. Kishore Singh (India)
2010-2016
Mr. Vernor Muñoz Villalobos (Costa Rica)
2004-2010
Ms. Katarina Tomasevski (Croatia)
1998-2004