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Ratification of the Convention against Discrimination in Education

Encouraging ratification of UNESCO’s normative instruments is one of the main components of the Strategy on standard-setting instruments in the field of education.

New ratifications of the Convention against Discrimination in Education are welcomed as a step towards universal ratification. Higher global rates of ratification assist in creating a community of States Parties sharing the same norms and standards. As a result, this will contribute to making UNESCO’s instruments form the overarching framework of the Organizations’ work in the field of education.

What is ratification?

By signing a convention or treaty, the State endorses its principles; by ratifying it, the State commits to be legally bound by it. Usually, this involves the legal obligation for the ratifying States to apply the Convention by incorporating its provisions in their national constitutions or domestic laws.

In some States, signature and ratification occur simultaneously.

UNESCO regularly conducts ratification campaigns to urge States that are not yet parties to the Convention against Discrimination in Education to take steps towards its ratification.

Why ratify the Convention against Discrimination in Education now?

This Convention, which expresses the fundamental principles of non-discrimination and equality of educational opportunities, covers the right to education comprehensively and is recognized by UNESCO as a cornerstone of the Education 2030 Agenda.


  • Shows the adherence of the country to rights set forth by the Convention, including the fundamental principles of non-discrimination, equality of treatment and of educational opportunities
  • Ensures the respect of all rights laid down in the Convention
  • Increases the community of States that are already party to the Convention and adopt the same normative framework
  • Allows for the strengthening of international norms and standards in education
  • Gives higher visibility to the Convention and raises awareness
  • Means that the Convention is fully applicable in all State Parties as this instrument does not admit any reservation (ratifying States cannot decide to exclude certain aspects or provisions from the legal effect of the Convention).

Model instrument of ratification

  • Download the Model based on the generic model prepared by UNESCO’s Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs


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