Finland: UN expert visit to assess strengths and challenges in relation to the right to education
17 November 2023
GENEVA (17 November 2023) – UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education Farida Shaheed will visit Finland from 20 to 29 November to assess strengths and challenges in the implementation of the right to education in the country.
Her visit will seek to understand the elements Finland puts into place to set up an education system that is generally applauded worldwide.
She will also address challenges faced by the most marginalised segments of society, in particular those from a minority background.
The nine-day mission will include meetings with Government officials, as well as visits to primary and secondary schools and universities. The Special Rapporteur also intends to meet civil society organisations, including teachers’ unions and students’ associations, academics and other stakeholders invested in education.
The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference to share her preliminary observations at 14.00 local time on Wednesday 29 November, at Sokos Hotel, Kluuvikatu 8, in Helsinki. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.
The expert will present a full report on her visit to the Human Rights Council in June 2024.
Ms. Farida Shaheed took office as Special Rapporteur on the right to education on 1 August 2022 following her appointment by the Human Rights Council. She is a sociologist and the Executive Director of Pakistan’s leading gender justice organization, Shirkat Gah - Women’s Resource Centre. She is also an independent expert/consultant to numerous U.N., international and bi-lateral development agencies, the government of Pakistan, as well as civil society initiatives, and serves on multiple international and national advisory committees. She served as a member of Pakistan’s National Commission on the Status of Women, and as the first Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights from 2009 to 2015.
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.