Resolution on the right to education

Resolution adopted by FIDH 38th Congress

Presented by La Ligue des droits et libertés du Québec (Quebec Civil Liberties Union)

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), meeting at its 38th Congress:

  • RECALLING THAT the FIDH is a federation of 164 member organisations that work, in particular, to ensure the effective, universal and indivisible application of the international Covenants and Conventions and all international or regional instruments regarding civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights;
  • CONSIDERING THAT the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESC) requires States to recognise the right of each person to education;
  • CONSIDERING THAT the ICESC specifies that education should focus on the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • RECALLING THAT the right to education is a fundamental right in itself an indispensable means of realizing other human rights;
  • ALSO RECALLING THAT education and universal human rights training are essential to their effective respect  [1];
  • WELCOMING the vast social protest movement designed to remind States of their obligations concerning the right to education – a movement initiated by student associations and which has taken root in several countries;

Reminds States that they have the obligation, in order to ensure full realisation of the right to education, to take all necessary measures so that:
Primary education shall be compulsory, accessible to all, and free
Secondary education shall be made generally available and accessible, in particular by the progressive introduction of free education
Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education

Recalls that it is essential to ensure the protection of the academic freedoms of both teachers and students, and to consider these freedoms as a pre-requisite for realising the right to education and not to be undermined by political, economic or other pressures;

Extends its support in the fight against tuition fee increases and neo-liberal policy-making tending to a progressive commodification of education and to the exclusion of an increasing number of people from university studies.

Encourages development by states and all the concerned society bodies of education and universal human rights training activities.

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