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Media advisories Special Procedures

United States of America: UN expert visit to assess strengths and challenges to right to education

26 April 2024

GENEVA (26 April 2024) – UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education Farida Shaheed will visit the United States of America from 29 April to 10 May 2024 to assess strengths and challenges in the implementation of the right to education in the country.

The 10-day mission will include meetings with Federal and State Government officials, as well as visits to primary and secondary schools and universities.

Shaheed is also scheduled to meet with representatives of civil society organisations, including teachers’ unions, students’ associations, in addition to academics and other stakeholders invested in education. She will hold meetings in Washington, DC, as well as the states of Indiana and Colorado.

The Special Rapporteur will seek to understand the way the Federal Government of the United States of America and state governments work together to ensure non-discriminatory access to quality education for all, especially in the most marginalised segments of society.

She will also focus on academic freedoms in educational institutions at all levels and the issue of safety in schools.

Shaheed will hold a press conference to share her preliminary observations at 12:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, 10 May 2024, at The National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20045. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The expert will present a full report on her visit to the Human Rights Council in June 2025.

*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 UN, 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.

UN Human Rights country page: United States of America

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Ms. Mylène Bidault (+41 22 917 9935 / [email protected])

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: please contact Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected])

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