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Online forum on Discrimination in education

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If discrimination is not fully exposed, it cannot be effectively opposed.

Katarina Tomaševski, Right to Education Primer no. 3

In education the right to non-discrimination means that all education must be accessible and of good quality to all, “irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status” (Art. 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)).

Most countries are plagued by discriminatory education systems, disadvantaging those already suffering multiple forms of exclusion. Exacerbated by growing xenophobia, governments and other duty-bearers mask choices as necessary prioritisation in a world of economic constraints. Much can be attributed to a lack of political will by the State, as prime duty-bearer. However, a lot is also due to lack of awareness and the need for changes in attitudes and public opinion. Here the role of the community, civil society and the media is as fundamental as that of the State.

In celebration of Human Rights Day on 10th December, this Forum on non-discrimination in education is a space for dialogue and exchange of views, experiences, and resources that can be used to expose the reality of discrimination in education around the world and improve laws, policies and perceptions.

To start the dialogue, we would like you to respond to the following broad questions:

  • Addressing discrimination requires changes in legislation, administration, resource allocation, but also attitudes, teaching methods and learning content. In your experience, what are the key obstacles to achieving these changes?

  • The international human rights framework is very strong on non-discrimination (Art 2 of the CRC and of other treaties). How can it be used better to translate principles into reality for the rights-holder?

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Disclaimer: The content displayed in forum reflects the views of the participants and does not necessarily reflect the views of the RTE project.