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About the right to education and human rights

Special Rapporteur on the right to education

As defined by General Comment No. 13 of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the body in charge of monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the States which are party to it:

“Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. As an empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities. Education has a vital role in empowering women, safeguarding children from exploitative and hazardous labour and sexual exploitation, promoting human rights and democracy, protecting the environment, and controlling population growth. Increasingly, education is recognized as one of the best financial investments States can make. But the importance of education is not just practical: a well-educated, enlightened and active mind, able to wander freely and widely, is one of the joys and rewards of human existence.”

According to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, education in all its forms and at all levels shall exhibit the following interrelated and essential features: availability, accessibility, acceptability, adaptability.

For more on the human right to education, please refer to the international standards page