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Discrimination in, to and through education

52 replies [Last post]
Jo Bourke Martignoni

I'd like to address the issue of translating rights into reality. While I believe that it's crucial to adequately define the content of the right to education and to identify the individuals and groups who should enjoy the right, to a large extent this work has already been done. We have an international legal framework that specifies who has the right to be educated and we have some guidelines (mainly in the General Comments from the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Committee on the Rights of the Child) about what the right to education entails in practice.

What I think needs to be done now is to adequately define who has obligations in relation to guaranteeing the right to education. The focus of attention on the nation state as the sole (or even the primary) bearer of obligations for the promotion and protection of the right to education fails to reflect the more complex reality within which governments are operating. We need to look beyond the state and examine the practice of international organisations, the private sector, third party governments (particularly in the context of their development cooperation activities) and even non-governmental organizations in order to come up with a coherent set of norms to regulate their activities in the field of education.

I believe that we can find the basis for these obligations within the existing international human rights instruments but in order to adequately enforce these guarantees there is a need for them to be explicitly applied to actors beyond the territorial state. The human rights treaty bodies are a good place to start, however, institutions such as the World Bank must also adopt and apply international human rights standards as the basis for their activities.

anita mathew

How does one expose discrimination-which is embedded in many social systems.In India we have the horrendous caste system and children get automatically discriminated from birth by this! the government has done is doing much to remove it but the modern discrimination add to it like disability,now HIV|AIDs where fearing stigma parents hide it and to expose the discrimination means stepping into peopl'e identity issues.Therefore even with legislature nothing can change except by working on attitudes.For this the rights based approach is very important and when it coms to children the article 12 of the UNCRC should be made the starting poing which is that of letting children [participate in al decisions affecting them and by working with adults on the meaning of child rights.We have just opened a child participation centre in Goa and we hope to make it a space to encourage children to build confidence to raise their voices in unison against discrimination as then only will adults realise their myopic mindsets and the drastic need to change if we have to save our children and this planet.
The right to education is central along with survival and participation and it should be a healthy holistic inclusive education that we need to bring in if we believe in the core principles of human rights as enshrined in the UDHR 1948.I would like to share about our triumphs and tribulations slowly on this forum when i read more comments and also learn what those involved are doing in the field to make a child realise he is a citizen of today not just of the future as is often toted by adults everywhere.