UN Forum on Minority Issues – Statement of the NGO Platform on the Right to Education

1eae3d4e-0a44-432d-bee4-90b2450ed65d.jpg Last week on the 29th and the 30th of November, OIDEL participated in the 11th Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, which focused on the topic of statelessness. You can find the report of the Special Rapporteur in the following link. Here you have the oral statement delivered on behalf of the NGO Platform on the Right to Education within the context of item 2 “Root causes and consequences of statelessness affecting minorities: preventing statelessness through a human rights approach”. The key points of this declaration are lifelong learning as an essential part of the right to education and education as a cultural right.

“Thank you Madame Chair,

The NGO Platform on the Right to Education welcomes the organization of this Forum. We consider it urgent to offer mechanisms to guarantee the realization of the right to education to stateless people.

Today, we would like to highlight two dimensions: lifelong learning as an essential part of the right to education and education as a cultural right.

As the former Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education pointed out, “right to fundamental education is not limited by age or gender, it extends to children, young people, adults, including older persons”.

Statelessness disproportionately affects vulnerable groups such as women, children, migrants and people on the move, who do not receive appropriate education, either for the lack of identification documents or for not having a stable position. Lifelong learning programs should be made available for those stateless adults without fundamental education. As stated in the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the promotion of education for stateless individuals should happen at all levels.

Secondly, education is also a cultural right. Educational programs for stateless people should focus on the development of personal identity. Alfred Fernandez, who has been the coordinator of the Platform since its foundation, used to say that denying such right means depriving someone of his humanity.

The Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues highlighted that education allows for a better integration of minorities into society and protects their identity. It would be beneficial to take into consideration minorities’ cultures, languages and traditions when drafting school curricula to boost inclusiveness and respect for diversity among younger generations.

We advocate for the eradication of practices that arbitrarily deny people a nationality on the basis of discriminatory parameters such as ethnicity, religion or language and we endorse the implementation of specific stateless determination procedures (SDPs).

We align with the call of this Special Rapporteur to engage all spheres of society for the correct implementation of these rights, with due regard to those of stateless people. The cooperation of national and international human rights institutions, private actors and civil society is essential for the achievement of this goal.”

Julie Mendola




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