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Clear definition of duty-bearers


Make sure the language in the provision is mandatory and clearly confers responsibility on the government. For example, the entire concept of “free and compulsory primary education” is defeated when core elements such as age, area and standard are left to the discretion of State or District level authorities. Therefore, in order to avoid any ambiguity, it is important that terms such as “primary education” / “elementary education” along with minimum entitlements are clearly defined in the Act itself.

It is important to consider the issues surrounding education in your country and ensure that they receive suitable attention in any legislation.

Well-crafted rights systems should be clear not only about the nature of the rights but also about the nature of the corresponding duties of the duty bearers. They should lay down who must provide what services, from what resources, etc. It is in this articulation of obligations that the duty bearer’s commitments are spelled out.

If people have a particular right (A), the duty for assuring the realization of that right should be clearly stated and assigned to some specific agency (B). Beyond that, there should be some sort of institutionalized accountability mechanism (C) to assure that the duty-bearing agency does what it is supposed to do. It is this system of accountability that provides the mechanism for enforcement.

National governments can use this three-part framework--the ABCs--in drafting national law or policy designed to assure the realization of the right to education.