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UNESCO calls Member States to ratify the Convention against Discrimination in Education

19 April 2019

As part of its #RightToEducation campaign, UNESCO is joining Global Action Week for Education 2019 (24 April to 1 May) focused this year on making the right to an inclusive, equitable, quality, free public education a reality. On this occasion, UNESCO is calling for the ratification of the Convention against Discrimination in Education, the only legally binding international treaty exclusively dedicated to the right to education. 

The UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, adopted by UNESCO's General Conference in 1960, is at the forefront of UNESCO’s standard-setting instruments in the field of education. It reaffirms that education is a fundamental right and underscores States' obligations to ensure free and compulsory education and bans any form of discrimination while promoting equality of educational opportunity.

With this new call, UNESCO is urging its Member States that have not yet ratified this crucial Convention to do so as it represents a cornerstone of the Education 2030 Agenda and a powerful tool to advance inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The Convention has so far been ratified by 104 Member States.

“It is encouraging that 11 countries have ratified the Convention in the last 10 years, four of which since the latest ratification campaign in 2014,” wrote Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education in her recent letter addressed to National Commissions for UNESCO.

UNESCO’s #RightToEducation campaign aims to bring global awareness of this crucial human right, which is still not a reality for millions, and empower young people and adults to bring about change in their communities. The digital campaign was initially launched to mark the 70th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Join the campaign by helping spread UNESCO’s messages about this key human right, a right that is at the core of its global mission to ensure equal access to quality education.

Learn more about UNESCO’s work on the right to education.

Has your country ratified the Convention? Find out here