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Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 26: ???Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit...???

International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights
Article 13: ???The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms... Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all... Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education...???

Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights: General Comment 11: Plans of action for primary education (Article 14, Twentieth session, 1999)

Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights: General Comment 13: The Right to Education

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Article 5: ???States Parties undertake... to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of... the right to education and training...???

Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women
Article 10: "States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women... The same conditions for career and vocational guidance... Access to the same curricula, the same examinations, teaching staff with qualifications of the same standard and school premises and equipment of the same quality... the same opportunities..."

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 28: ???States Parties recognize the right of the child to education...???

Convention Against Discrimination in Education
Article 3: ???States Parties... undertake... to discontinue any administrative practices which involve discrimination in education... To ensure, by legislation where necessary, that there is no discrimination in the admission of pupils to educational institutions...???


Reports by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

Annual Reports

Country Visit Reports


Agenda 21
Paragraphs 3.2 & 24.3: ???Governments should take active steps to??? eliminate illiteracy??? and to expand the enrolment of women??? in educational institutions, to promote the goal of universal access to primary and secondary education??????

African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
Article 17: "Every individual shall have the right to education"

Beijing Platform for Action
Paragraph 80: ???We commit ourselves to... by the year 2000, provide universal access to basic education and ensure completion of primary education by at least 80 per cent of primary school-age children; close the gender gap in primary and secondary school education by the year 2005; provide universal primary education in all countries before the year 2015??? Reduce the female illiteracy rate to at least half its 1990 level...???

The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Article 9: "The seeking of knowledge is an obligation and provision of education is the duty of the society and the State. The State shall ensure the availability of ways and means to acquire education and shall guarantee its diversity in the interest of the society so as to enable man to be acquainted with the religion of Islam and uncover the secrets of the Universe for the benefit of mankind..."

Copenhagen Declaration
Commitment 6: ???We commit ourselves to??? universal and equitable access to quality education??? We will: Formulate and strengthen??? strategies for the eradication of illiteracy and universalization of??? early childhood education, primary education and education for the illiterate???; Emphasize lifelong learning??? to ensure that people??? are provided with??? skills??? to participate fully in??? development.???

Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 'Protocol of San Salvador'
Article 13: "Everyone has the right to education."