Zan bill: New threats against educational pluralism in Italy

In Italy, we have been discussing for months the so-called “ZAN bill”, which aims to fight discrimination and violence based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability, and could be approved in the coming weeks. In a note In the run-up to World Pride 2021 this bill has received the approval of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Dunja Mijatovic.

Photo by Davide Cacciatori on

Despite the declared good intentions of this law proposal, this has been received with a lot of suspicions by an important sector of the civil society and some Italian jurists- including Flik, Ronco, Vari and Gambino-  have pointed some serious inconsistencies,

Some of the controversies of the law concern the vagueness and ideological oriented terminology and the potential use of severe sanctions – such as compulsory re-education in LGBTIQ+ associations, wiretapping, passport withdrawal and up to 6 years of imprisonment – for the implementation of this law. In this regard, civil society members have warned that this law seriously jeopardizes the freedom of expression and thought of both individuals and associations. Furthermore, this law dangerously widens judicial discretion on legitimate opinions and encourages the practice of denunciation as a tool to oppose different thinking on many topics, from family to sexuality.

According to its supporters, the law should be approved because of a rising social emergency and a regulatory vacuum on LGBTIQ+ discrimination. Nevertheless, according to civil society organisations only a small percentage of the reports related to hate crimes filed in Italy in recent years are concerning sexual orientation, according to official data from Oscad, the Observatory of the Ministry of the Interior. Moreover, Italian law already sanctions all forms of offense and violence against any individual, with aggravating circumstances for offenses related to the victim’s sexual orientation.

One of the biggest concerns on the new law proposal concerns the limitation of freedom of thought and freedom in the field of education. This law would in fact seek to introduce in all public-run schools and private schools of all kinds and levels, compulsory activities on non-consensual subjects  – from transsexuality to bi-phobia  – that are based on the controversial concept of gender identity and  highly divisive and that can be frontally opposed with the worldview of many families and schools.

The restriction of freedom of thought would have negative effects in terms of:

  • Limitation to the educational freedom of parents (who in expressing opposition to certain teachings or activities could be considered «homophobic»),
  • Limitation to the freedom of teaching (teachers would be forced to participate in activities made compulsory even if they do not share the messages transmitted to students, and if they express opposing views to gender theory they could be accused of discrimination, with legal and professional consequences. This could be contrary to the freedom of teaching recognized in the Italian Constitution.
  • Serious impairment of minors’ education (as they would be deprived of an open and pluralistic environment and this would severely limit their ability to criticize and compare opinions).

Another critic of people opposed to this initiative is the narrow scope of this law. Because although the title of the law refers to handicapped people, the further development of the article only focuses on sexual orientation and gender identity, not justifying this narrow conception of discrimination.

The involvement of schools – children, adolescents and teachers – envisaged by the “ZAN Law” therefore clearly violates the division of competencies between school and family. This law breaks the consensus between the state, parents and children which enable a framework of trust for the upbringing of children.

Parents have recognized as a pillar for the education of the children. Article 30 of the Italian Constitution warns “It is the duty and right of parents to support, raise and educate their children, even if born out of wedlock”. Moreover, the article 26.3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the article 13.3 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Art. 14 of First Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights also recognize the role of parents as a cornerstone with rights of the realization of the right to education.

Public-run schools, in order to be truly open to all, must be a welcoming community and promote participation, respect and confrontation, in order to create an environment where we can understand the value of sharing and peaceful coexistence. In this regard, the introduction of mandatory holistic and comprehensive worldviews can alter the openness of this institution, as well as to exclude de facto the participation of different families and communities. Article 34 of the Italian Constitution warns that “Schools are open to everyone”, this new law could compromise the school – family alliance.

Schools cannot provide personalised courses for each student. Therefore, to guarantee the interest and dignity of each child, it must propose a balanced educational offer that meets the educational needs of all without excluding anyone, even indirectly. For this reason, for example, students must learn to respect fundamental human rights but must not be oriented towards one political party rather than another.

The promoters of this law point that this is motivated to prevent bullying linked to sexual orientations. Nevertheless, to the opponents of this law, there are more effective methods to achieve this goal than imposing non-consensual education. Indeed, fighting bullying certainly does not require the introduction of divisive and controversial teachings on sexuality, but rather teaching respect for all people because of their human dignity.

The European trends in this regard have reached other paths. In this regard, Resolution nr. 1904 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Parliament dated 4 October 2012 states that «In order to guarantee the fundamental right to education, every education system must ensure equal opportunities and provide high-quality education for all pupils, seeking to transmit not only the knowledge required to enable them to find employment and play a full part in society, but also the values nurturing the protection and promotion of fundamental rights, democratic citizenship and social cohesion». The Parliamentary Assembly, in the same Resolution, also stated that «It is on the basis of the right to education as explained above that the right to freedom of choice in education should be understood.» Therefore states must «respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions».

Chiara Iannarelli- President of “Articolo 26”, Italy

Thanks to the lawyer Daniela Bianchini, member of the Livatino Center for Legal Studies

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Historic mobilizations in Spain to protest against a law that limits Freedom of Education.

Fuente: EFE

A few days before Christmas the Spanish Senate passed the new educational Law. This Law has been promoted by the current Minister for Education and Professional Training in Spain, Mme. Celaá. This new law, called LOMLOE, but most popularly known as Ley Celaá, has generated serious debates between the government and the opposition, as well as unprecedented civil society mobilizations.

Following amendments made to the initial draft, the government managed to proceed with the proposed bill, creating major discontent among the opposition. The organic bill went ahead in Congress and in the Senate, despite many protests and political opposition. 

We can highlight two controversial aspects of this law. First, the most problematic aspect of the bill concern the abandonment of the criteria of social demand to distribute public funds. The new law limits the access to public funds for escuelas concertadas – non-governmental publicly funded schools- to those cases in which state-run schools do not have enough room for all the students. The second controversial aspect concerns educational centers for students with special needs.

Concerning the educational centers for students with special needs the law argues that within 10 years, special education centers must have been fully absorbed by public inclusive education centers. This has caused major unease around the capability to adapt all centers to the particular needs of all these children, given that there are already experienced educational centers that fulfill special needs. 

Finally, we would like to reflect on the most controversial issue, the rigid focus of LOMLOE concerning the funding of education. Escuelas concertadas – non-governmental, non-commercial publicly funded schools- have conformed the Spanish educational system since 1985. They were based on the French model of 1957. They constitute an alternative to a unique educational model, which favours diversity in the country. Today, around a quarter of Spain’s students attend these centers. The dual educational model ensures plurality in society, which is essential to democracy. Under this model, which equally considers public and private education, freedom of parents is fully guaranteed. What is most interesting of the model is the focus on the right of choice. On previous educational laws, the Spanish state had a positive obligation to guarantee the freedom of parents to choose from different educational models. The new law wants to limit these schools to those students who do not have access to publicly managed schools.

The absence of an available for all alternative to public education endangers the right to free education under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as stated in Articles 13.3 and 13.4, which specifically obliges states to respect the parents’ right to freedom of education. Despite the health crisis, in Madrid, and in most of the major cities of Spain, there have been massive car demonstrations to protest against this law.

Emma Ramos

La Acción de OIDEL durante el 43º Consejo de Derechos Humanos:

El Consejo de Derechos Humanos (CDH) de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas es un organismo creado en 2006 por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas y formado por 47 estados. El Consejo se reúne periódicamente en sesiones trimestrales celebradas en los meses de febrero, julio y octubre. La primera reunión tiene una duración de cuatro semanas, y las otras dos de tres semanas. Durante este tiempo se suceden en el Palacio de Naciones Unidas un sin fin de reuniones formales, reuniones informales para hacer seguimiento a las distintas resoluciones propuestas por el CDH, y eventos paralelos para conocer en profundidad temas concretos.

A razón de esto, el pasado 24 de febrero de 2020, OIDEL asistió a la inauguración de la 43º sesión del Consejo de Derechos Humanos (24 de febrero – 20 de marzo). La primera sesión de este 2020, al ser la primera sesión del año se caracteriza por celebrarse en ella el High-level segment en el cual durante 3 días pasan por el CDH más de 100 representantes – incluyendo jefes de estado y ministros de exteriores- de diferentes países para presentar ante el Consejo la situación de derechos humanos en su país, sus esfuerzos nacionales, la importancia de la cooperación internacional para paliar los desafíos actuales, y las perspectivas y retos de futuro.

Esta reunión de alto nivel fue inaugurada por importantes personalidades del ámbito internacional, como es el caso de António Guterres, Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas. En sus discursos  se resaltó la importancia de diversos temas de interés internacional, entre ellos, el tema de la educación. Si quieren conocer más información sobre el  High – level segment, OIDEL hizo una entrada al blog sobre este tema:

Durante la primera semana del Consejo de Derechos Humanos (24 de febrero – 28 de febrero) OIDEL, asistió también a dos interesante y enriquecedores Eventos Paralelos. El primero sobre Libertad de religión o creencia; entender el pasado para proteger a las víctimas de hoy y el segundo sobre Fraternidad humana para la Paz mundial y la convivencia; el papel del diálogo interreligioso hacia el disfrute universal del derecho a la libertad de religión o creencias.

Durante las dos semanas siguientes que duró el 43º CDH antes de su suspensión, OIDEL realizó dos intervenciones orales frente al Consejo. Ambas intervenciones se realizaron bajo el ITEM 3 de la Agenda del CDH “Promoción y protección de todos los derechos humanos, civiles, políticos, económicos, sociales y culturales, incluido el derecho al desarrollo”. La primera de las intervenciones se celebró bajo el marco del Diálogo Interactivo con la Relatora Especial sobre Derechos Culturales, la Sra. Karima Bennoune. Desde OIDEL, con nuestra intervención quisimos recordar la importancia del enfoque cultural en el derecho a la educación, así como la necesidad de reconocer el importante papel de los docentes. La segunda declaración oral se celebró bajo el Diálogo Interactivo con el Relator Especial sobre cuestiones de las minorías, Fernand de Varennes. En este caso, OIDEL quiso resaltar la importancia del idioma en la educación como mecanismo de inclusión, así como la importancia de las obligaciones positivas por parte de las autoridades públicas en relación a las escuelas no gubernamentales, para garantizar que todos los niños disfruten de una educación de calidad y en igualdad de condiciones. Si quieren leer las declaraciones orales completas o ver la intervención en video, desde OIDEL publicamos en el Blog cada una de las intervenciones: (1) (2)

Durante el tiempo que el Consejo estuvo vigente, OIDEL también asistió al seguimiento de reuniones informales sobre las resoluciones del CDH, entre ellas la de resolución sobre Libertad religiosa y de creencia, la cual tuvo una muy buena acogida por los estados del CDH.

Por último mencionar que a causa del COVID – 19, el Consejo de Derechos Humanos suspendió sus actividades la tercera semana de su ejercicio. No sé consiguieron tratar todos los temas que se tenían en la agenda, pero desde OIDEL decidimos hacer una recopilación de los informes y diálogos interactivos que sí que se llegaron a tratar en este Consejo de Derechos Humanos, pueden encontrar más información en el siguiente link:

What has been said in the 43th Human Rights Council before it suspension?

Because of Covid-19 last week, the Human Rights Council suspended the current session.

Due to this fact, OIDEL has decided to compile the reports of the special reports that were discussed during the weeks in which the Council continued its normal operation so that our readers can know the latest news that was released at the 43rd CDH.


It started with the high-level meeting, from this point we already made a blog post, then, as usual, gave way to item 2 «Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports from the Office of the High The Commissioner and the Secretary-General”; later item 3 of the program on «Promotion and protection of all human, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.»; Item 4 “Situations of human rights that require the attention of the Council.«; ítem 5. Human rights bodies and mechanisms; finally item 6. “Universal periodic review” This was the last of the points that could be carried out because, due to the coronavirus, it had to be cancelled.

We include summaries of special reporters’ reports below.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belie

The Special Rapporteur began saying that there is a multitude of use and misuse of religion or belief to execute violence and discrimination based on gender. He also expressed his concern because of the rise in political and religious or belief-based campaigns aiming to regress human rights that are fundamental to gender equality. The Special Rapporteur concluded with the responsibility of States to create enabling environments for the non-discrimination and freedom of religion or belief rights of women, girls and LGBT+ persons. This report has been highly problematic and criticized by faith-based organizations.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment

The Special Rapporteur described good practices followed by States in conceding the right to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and in implementing the procedural elements, like the access to information, public participation and to justice and effective remedies. This fundamental human right is recognized by more than 80% of the State Members.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. 

The Special Rapporteur said that many of the preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) programs implemented lack a consistent rule of law or human rights grounding. Negative human rights practice may contribute to the conditions conducive to terrorism and violent extremism rather than prevent them. The lack of a clear definition of “violent extremism” has led a few countries to adopt definitions of extremism extended to practices and rights protected and international law. He also highlighted the concerning commodification of women and girls to advance policy. To achieve P/CVE’s goals, State and international programs must be empirically based and consistent with the rule of law and human rights.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights. 

The Special Rapporteur reported that private debt and public debt are intertwined. He also said that private indebtedness is on the rise due to two factors:

  • The flourishing supply side of various financial debt products
  • The general consideration of human rights as commodities in laws, policies and programs paralleled by a colossal failure of the State to ensure economic, social and cultural rights for all.

For them, private debt can be both a cause and a consequence of human rights violations.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

The Special Rapporteur talked on how negative perceptions about persons with disabilities and their value are reflected in legislation, policies, customs and practices. These negative perceptions are related to ableism, which is a value system that considers that certain standards of appearance, functioning and behavior are necessary to live a fulfilling life. These beliefs have led societies to favor disability prevention and cure of impairments over the access and inclusion of persons with disabilities. The Special Rapporteur highlighted the need to develop and implement legal and policy reforms that embrace disability as part of human diversity and promoting their participation in decision-making.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues

The Special Rapporteur set out the topic of the language dimension of education for minorities. He clarified the parameters of the application of human rights to the principles of equality without discrimination, as of primary importance for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education for all, including linguistic minorities such as users of sign languages. He recommended a series of practical guidelines to provide guidance on the content and implementation of the human rights of minorities on the field of languages. This special rapporteur presented a report on his visit to Spain highly controversial.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food

The Special Rapporteur concluded that the achievement of the right to food remains a distant reality for far too many. She highlighted the roles and responsibilities of the main actors in advancing the right to food. She invited the members to mention examples of positive practices about:

  1. To address food insecurity, poverty, inequality, and the inequitable distribution of food and productive resources, particularly of marginalized populations.
  2. To adopt nutrition policies aimed at dealing with all forms of -malnutrition – including stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiency, and the universal threat of obesity.
  3. To transform current food systems to more resilient and sustainable practices, free from dangerous pesticides, which promote smallholder farmers, including women and young farmers, protect farmworkers from dangerous and unhealthy working environments, incentivize local food systems and sustainable agriculture strategies, most importantly agro-ecological and traditional production systems.
  4. To implement a human rights-based approach to food security policies that provide right holders with access to decision making processes and justice.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. 

The Special Rapporteur began pointing that there is a global housing crisis, which can be seen with the increase in homelessness or even by the fact that housing has become unaffordable for many. This is the result of the failure of States to effectively implement the right to housing and constitute violations of the right to housing. States have to ensure residents’ participation in all decisions affecting their housing situation and to ensure access to justice for violations of the right to adequate housing.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy 

The Special Rapporteur focused his report on protecting against gender-based privacy infringements. The report outlines detailed recommendations in relations to indigenous, disabilities, children, gender, culture, housing, education, health care, detention, asylum, online violence, digital technologies, security and surveillance and work and employment. The Special Rapporteur has advocated for the right to privacy on a wide range of HR issues, namely concerning the right of privacy of children and sexuality, intersex children and self-determination of gender, gender identity and autonomous decisions concerning their bodies, LGBTQI, same-sex relations, sex workers, removal of barriers of gender-specific regulation in public spaces.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar 

The Special Rapporteur continued to be denied access to Myanmar so she visited Thailand and Bangladesh. She reported that there was a great spirit of optimism, in particular with the transition to democracy but the magnitude and tragedy of what occurred in Myanmar cannot be overstated, like the extreme violence perpetrated against the Rohingya or the armed conflict in Kachin, Shan, Kayin, Rakhine and Chin States, the shrinking of democratic space, lack of rule of law, ongoing land confiscation and the deplorable situations of internally displaced people and refugees. The transition of Myanmar is in its very early stages. She proposed a national dialogue with ways to move towards an equal, tolerant and pluralistic society. She thinks that the end to impunity is essential to ensure human rights over the country and for the successful transition to democracy. She considers that the justice system must be reformed and there must be extensive law reform, including of the Constitution.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on “Psychological Torture”

The Special Rapporteur recognized “psychological” or “mental” torture as an analytical concept distinct from physical torture. This report examines the notion of psychological “torture” only as in practice “torture” and “other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” are closely intertwined. National practice tends to deny psychological torture as what could be described as “torture light” despite “real torture” is understood to require the infliction of physical pain or suffering.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other children sexual abuse material

The Special Rapporteur reflected the emerging trends related to the sale and sexual exploitation of children, their root causes and new manifestations. The Special Rapporteur observed that global developments like the expansion of information and communications technology facilitate conditions in which the sexual exploitation of children can prosper. These crimes appear to be more frequent against marginalized children struck by poverty, conflict, social exclusion and discrimination, children on move, children with disabilities; children living in residential care and children left behind by their parents. The magnitude of the problem is unknown because of the unavailability of centralized and disaggregated data on the different forms of these crimes and on the number of cases identified, investigated and prosecuted. She called on States to accelerate efforts towards achieving comprehensive and child right centered protection systems, support and promote a coordinated global response to eradicate the sale and sexual exploitation of children.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism

The Special Rapporteur talked about women and children impacted by albinism. They suffer multiple discriminations, aggravated by a few factors like gender and age. Mothers of children with albinism are stigmatized throughout life. States needs to take concrete measures in incorporating the situation of albinism into policies on education, health and disabilities to end racial discrimination.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in Occupied Palestinian Territory. 

The Special Rapporteur notices that serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law continued in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Demonstrations known as the Great March of Return at the Israel-Gaza fence continued to take place every Friday and, on some occasions, demonstrators damaged and breached the fence, threw Molotov cocktails or launched incendiary objects. Some Palestinians, including children, were killed by Israeli security forces. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, some cases of excessive use of force by the Israeli security forces were observed. This violence has a big impact on children because of the number of dead and injured. Israel has to conduct effective investigations of these alleged violations, ensure those responsible are brought to justice and if convicted, receive sanctions proportionate to the violations, likewise Palestinian authorities. Victims of these violations and their families need and have the right to have access to effective remedies and full reparation, including the right to truth.

Alexandra Domínguez

Alexandra Dominguez

6 lecciones que nos enseña el Informe PISA 2018

Hace unas semanas se publicaron los resultados del Programa Internacional para la Evaluación de Estudiantes 2018, más conocido como PISA 2018. En esta pequeña entrada nos ha parecido interesante compartir brevemente algunas de las observaciones que el estadista de la OCDE Andreas Schleicher ha publicado en un informe anexo que pueden servir para pensar mejores formas de implementar el derecho a la educación.

–          El 10% de los estudiantes con más nivel socioeconómico tienen mayor rendimiento educativo que el 10% de los estudiantes con menor nivel socioeconómico en todos los países OCDE.

–          Uno de los factores que están más positivamente asociados con unos buenos resultados PISA es la resiliencia académica, lo que va muy ligado al apoyo de los padres, un clima escolar positivo y el “growth mindset” (que podríamos traducir como la convicción parte del alumno que la inteligencia es algo que no viene dado, sino que puede modificarse).

–          En el paisaje educativo ha habido cambios notables que implican repensar la importancia y las estrategias para profundizar en la lectura. Hay como mínimo tres elementos a tener en cuenta. Primero, en los últimos años se ha pasado de un porcentaje de 15% de alumnos de los países OCDE sin acceso a internet en casa (2008), a un porcentaje de menos del 5% (2019). Este elemento está cambiando el paisaje educativo puesto que antes los alumnos podían encontrar respuestas concretas y seguras en los libros de textos elaborados con la supervisión de los gobiernos. Debido a esto, a día de hoy, los alumnos encuentran millares de respuestas a sus cuestiones sin la seguridad de que estas sean correctas o falsas. Aparte de la abundancia de información esto implica también mayores dificultades de concentración (de media un estudiante se pasa 3.5 horas concentrado en internet con actividades multi-tasking). Segundo, podemos afirmar que estamos en un momento en que por primera vez el desarrollo tecnológico está yendo más rápido que la educación. Tercero, los hábitos de lectura entre los jóvenes han disminuido y siguen disminuyendo enormemente.

La lectura como siempre debe capacitar al alumno para tener un entendimiento profundo de la realidad y permitiéndole tener un sentido más amplio de la misma. En el contexto actual de cambio galopante y fake news, la lectura no puede limitarse a extraer información, sino también a construir conocimiento, pensar contenidos críticamente, hacer buenos razonamientos y distinguir el hecho de la opinión. El informe PISA enfatiza la importancia que las escuelas intensifiquen sus esfuerzos en este campo para que los alumnos tengan una capacidad lectora que les permita hacer frente a los desafíos de un mundo cambiante y digitalizado.

–          Los alumnos con bajo rendimiento escolar en algunos países están repartidos de forma más o menos igual en todas las escuelas, y en algunos países están concentrados en algunas escuelas concretas, a menudo en zonas desfavorecidas. El informe señala como enemigo de estas realidades la selección del alumnado por parte de algunas escuelas y la estratificación que impide a las familias de barrios desfavorecidos acceder a otras escuelas. El informe recomienda que aparte de hacer frente a estas dos realidades hay que hacer más hincapié en la importancia del apoyo y los recursos adecuados en las escuelas con este tipo de desafíos.

–          Según el informe la segregación social en las escuelas en la mayoría de países afecta de forma parecida a las escuelas privadas como a las públicas.

–          No hay casi relación en los fondos invertidos en educación y el rendimiento escolar.  Lo más determinante es como se gastan estos fondos. Las tres principales variables para el aprendizaje son el tiempo, la calidad y el ambiente en el que se da esta educación. Por ejemplo, uno de los problemas que tienen las escuelas más desfavorecidas es la atracción de profesores más cualificados. El informe advierte que para conseguir esto hace falta enfoques más holísticos que comprendan holísticamente salarios, reconocimiento y apoyo institucional y apoyo en las distintas iniciativas.


Para leer el informe entero podéis ir al siguiente link:


Ignasi Grau

A sentence of the Spanish Constitutional court recognizes that public funding of compulsory education in non-governmental schools with legitimate pedagogical options, is a constitutional duty to guarantee the freedom of approach of the right to education :

On April 10th of last year, the Spanish Constitutional Court of Spain in its judgment 31/2018 resolved a conflict on the funding of single sex schools that shed some light on the obligations of the state regarding public funding for non-governmental schools. About single sex schools the sentence mention that “the system of single-sex education is a pedagogical option which cannot be deemed as discriminatory. Therefore, it can be a part of the right of any private or non-governmental school to establish its own character”. About the particular character of a school the sentence continues saying that this ethos “can be considered to a great extent (…) the point of convergence that makes possible the exercise of the right of creation of educational institutions and the right of parents to choose the kind of education that they wish for their children, putting in connection educational supply and demand”.

Concerning the funding for these schools it says that the “public authorities shall give aid to teaching establishments which meet the requirements to be laid down by the law”. Moreover, recalling that basic education is compulsory and free by the Constitution the Court concludes that “it is incumbent upon the public authorities to promote conditions which ensure that the freedom and equality of individuals and of the groups to which they belong may be real and effective, to remove the obstacles which prevent or hinder their full enjoyment, and to facilitate the participation of all citizens in political, economic, cultural and social life”. The sentence continues “This constitutionally guaranteed free education cannot refer exclusively to the governmental or public school, denying it all private or non-governmental schools, since this would imply the compulsory nature of such a governmental education, at least at the basic level, preventing the real possibility to choose the basic education in any private centre. This would cut from the root not only the right of parents to choose a teaching centre, but also the right to create teaching centres enshrined in Article 27.6 of the Spanish Constitution (The right of individuals and legal entities to set up educational centres is recognised, provided they respect Constitutional principles). In this sense, public funding of private schools is at the service of the provision content enshrined in art. 27.4 of the Spanish Constitution (Elementary education is compulsory and free).“

From a Human Rights perspective we can celebrate this sentence for many reasons. First, because it considers the article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from a holistic perspective without dividing the freedom approach and the provision approach of the right to education. Second, and as a consequence of the first reason, because it considers the freedom approach of the right to education as something that goes beyond a mere liberty. Third, because its multiple references to international instruments such as the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the General Comment n°13 on the Right to Education.

Here you have the link to the entire sentence:

Ignasi Grau


“Education at a Glance” – Muy breve resumen de hacia dónde va la educación primaria y secundaria


Todos los años la OCDE publica un documento titulado “Education at a Glance” que permite hacerse una idea de la situación del estado de la educación en el mundo.

Si empezamos por lo peor, a día de hoy un 15% de los jóvenes de los países de la OCDE entre 25 y 34 años no han adquirido educación secundaria superior y el 14% entre 18 y 24 años ni trabajan ni estudian. No obstante no todo son malas noticias, el porcentaje de alumnos entre 2005 y 2017 que se han graduado en educación secundaria superior ha aumentado un 6%.

Sobre los gastos en educación los países de la OCDE gastan de media un 3.5% de su PIB en educación primaria, secundaria y post-secundaria. El gasto público en educación ha aumentado un 18% desde 2005, sobre todo debido a la reducción de las aulas y el aumento de los salarios de los profesores.

A pesar del aumento de salario de los profesores uno de los desafíos que indica el informe son los problemas para atraer a esta profesión a las nuevas generaciones. Solo un 10% de los profesores tienen menos de 30 años. Uno de los principales desafíos en los siguientes años en las políticas educativas será pensar cómo atraer a las nuevas generaciones de profesores.

Para saber más mira este link:


30ad9173-cb18-4918-8bfe-fabc0efc38efDel 15 de julio a el 19 de julio de 2019, se ha llevado a cabo el curso de verano de la Universidad de la Rioja junto con OIDEL, sobre Derechos y progreso para todos los niños en la era de los ODS.

El objetivo del curso era proporcionar información, a todos los alumnos que vinieron de diferentes universidades del mundo como Colombia, Chile, Bolivia y España, sobre el papel de las Naciones Unidas en la protección de los Derechos Humanos, viendo las diferentes herramientas existentes para su protección y observando las diferentes situaciones donde se pueden llegar a vulnerar estos derechos.

Pero principalmente el curso se centró en la protección de los derechos de los niños y su derecho a ser escuchados; aunque cabe resaltar que también se vieron otros temas relacionados como la discriminación basada en el género, o los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, entre otros temas.

El curso comenzó, ofreciendo a los alumnos una introducción sobre Órganos de Tratados y  sobre el Comité de Derechos Económicos Sociales y Culturales a mano del director de OIDEL, Ignasi Grau.  A continuación se realizó una mesa redonda, con las oradoras Lisa Myers, del centro interfacultativo de los derechos del niño y Alessandra Aula, Secretaria general de la Oficina Internacional Católica de la Infancia (BICE), donde hablaron sobre la importancia de que los niños y adolescentes reclamen la gobernanza, y como pueden y deben ser oídos en diferentes cuestiones como por ejemplo en la problemática del cambio climático, resaltando el movimiento Fridays for Future.

Durante el segundo día, el curso comenzó con una ponencia sobre el derecho del menor a ser escuchado y a que su opinión sea tenida en cuenta, de la mano de la catedrática de derecho civil y decana de la Facultad de derecho de la Universidad de la Rioja, Roncesvalles Barber Cárcamo, donde resaltó la importancia de que en cualquier proceso civil en el que estuviere involucrado un niño, es de vital importancia escuchar cuál es su deseo y dejar quizas un poco de lado una actitud extremadamente paternalista en la que se considera que el niño no va a saber qué es lo que quiere o que es lo mejor para el.

Ademas también habló la profesora de derecho, Belén Rodrigo, centrándose en la diversidad religiosa en las escuelas, las problemáticas existentes y la resolución de conflictos.

Así mismo ese día, los alumnos recibieron la visita de la embajadora de Colombia en Ginebra, Adriana Mendoza, para explicar el papel de la Misión permanente de Colombia ante las Naciones Unidas.

Durante el tercer dia, se llevo a cabo un taller práctico, organizado por el Juez Argentino y Director del Instituto de Derechos Humanos, de la Universidad de Lomas de Zamora, José Antonio Michilini. En dicho taller se propuso, que los alumnos se dividieran en diferentes grupos adoptando diferentes posiciones en una negociación de derechos humanos, para que pudieran observar como una ONG puede llevar un caso de una vulneración de Derechos Humanos frente a el Comité, y como el Estado puede defenderse.

El cuarto día, se llevaron a cabo diferentes ponencias, la primera sobre la participación de los niños en conflictos armados, llevada a cabo por Mariana Citrinovitz, asociada en la Unidad de Protección de la Población Civil, del Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja, y Marcela Gutiérrez, Directora del Centro de Investigación en Política Criminal y coordinadora de la Cátedra UNESCO (Colombia). Y posteriormente se llevó a cabo una mesa redonda sobre niños y adolescentes en situación de vulnerabilidad (calle, trabajo y explotación sexual) con la ponente Jaqueline Machado, de la Universidad Federal de Grande Dourados en Brasil.

Y el último día, los alumnos recibieron la última ponencia del curso de la mano de Aexandra McDowal, oficial superior de protección de la Oficina de ACNUR para las américas, que se centró en explicar los problemas de migraciones existentes en América Latina y las vulneraciones de Derechos Humanos que estaban viendo en este conflicto.

Cabe resaltar que a lo largo del curso, se ha conseguido traer a diferentes ponentes de diversas partes del mundo; tanto expertos como víctimas con un profundo conocimiento en diversos temas relacionados con los Derechos Humanos y estos temas han sido abordados desde una perspectiva global y no solo desde una perspectiva Europea u occidental.

Además las diferentes ponencias se han realizado en diferentes lugares como el Palacio Wilson y el Palacio de las Naciones Unidas, además también se llevó a cabo una visita al Museo de la Cruz Roja, para ofrecer una visión completa, a los distintos alumnos, de los mecanismos internos de las Naciones Unidas.

Y por último resaltar el papel vital para la realización y organización diaria del curso, de Ana María Vega Gutiérrez, Director de la Cátedra UNESCO de la Universidad de la Rioja y Isabel Márquez de Prado, responsable de formaciones de OIDEL.

Uxua Faulin

ID with the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights: The importance of the cultural approach of the Right to Education

Today, the first of March, OIDEL participated in the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights. The report presented by Special Rapporteur Karima Bennoune is an update of the situation of the mandate on its 10th anniversary. OIDEL has actively promoted the existence of this mandate and is looking forward to participating more actively in the following years. You can find the whole report in the following link:

Here you can read our intervention during the interactive dialogue:

We thank the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights for her report for three main reasons. First, because her sincere efforts to show that the C of Economic, Social and Cultural rights is as important as the other two letters. Indeed, we join our voice to the voice of the Special Rapporteur to recall that the right to belong, to have an identity and to develop a specific world vision is essential to safeguard the dignity of the human being. Second, we welcome the efforts of the special rapporteur to show the history and the current situation of the cultural right from the Special Rapporteur perspective. And third, the Special Rapporteur in its point 45 of the report hopes to see the creation of a civil society coalition for cultural right at the UN. We would love to contribute to this idea.

OIDEL considers that the right to education is a pillar of cultural rights. As the General Comment n° 21 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights points “States should recall that the fundamental aim of educational development is the transmission and enrichment of common cultural and moral values in which the individual and society find their identity and worth. Thus, education must be culturally appropriate, including human rights education, enable children to develop their personality and cultural identity and to learn and understand cultural values and practices of the communities to which they belong, as well as those of other communities and societies (p. 26) ”.  We encourage the Special Rapporteur to consider the importance of the cultural approach of the right to education in its future reports. In a context of hate and violence, the international community needs to hear how to deal with the right to have an identity in our educational systems. Alfred Fernandez, the former director of OIDEL and a strong defender of cultural rights, used to say that one of the main reasons of violence in our world is due to the feeling that our cultural background is disdained. This is the moment to talk about the cultural approach of the right to education so our children learn who they are, so their education is respectful with the communities they live, and also that they learn to live within the diversity.

L’école privée islamique favorise-t-elle le terrorisme ?


Est-ce que l’école privée religieuse est moins liée à des individus civilisés, et plus spécifiquement, est-ce que l’école islamique éduque des individus plus à risque de côtoyer le terrorisme ? C’est ce qu’étudient D. Shakeel et P. Wolf.

Il faut en premier lieu faire la distinction entre traditionalisme et fondamentalisme ; les premiers sont moins enclins à être impliqués dans le terrorisme que les seconds.

Selon Wolf et Shakeel en 2003, seulement 5% du terrorisme avait pour motivation primordiale la religion. Le suicide terroriste est une réponse à une occupation étrangère plus qu’un produit fondamentalement islamiste. En Occident, ce terrorisme contemporain est bien sûr parfois source d’endoctrinement religieux et d’aliénation psychologique. Mais des gens finissent par joindre les champs de bataille et ces décisions individuelles peuvent être expliquées par des variables politiques et socio-économiques, endogènes, telles comme le sont la religion et la culture. Selon Bergen et Pandey (2005) : « tandis que les madrassas peuvent élever des fondamentalistes qui ont appris à réciter le Coran en arabe par cœur, ces écoles n’enseignent pas les compétences techniques ou linguistiques nécessaires pour être un terroriste efficace. » Sur 75 profils terroristes ayant pris l’Occident pour cible, seulement 9 ont suivi une éducation au sein d’une madrassa. Les efforts pour réduire le terrorisme en remplaçant les écoles religieuses par des écoles publiques pourrait être contre-productif. Les auteurs de l’article soutiennent que l’extrémisme religieux et l’extrémisme islamique récents sont un sous-produit du manque d’accès à une éducation religieuse de qualité, de l’entrave gouvernementale au choix scolaire et du manque de pluralisme dans l’enseignement public et pas nécessairement provoqués par la scolarisation religieuse. Cette analyse préliminaire suggère que les interventions sur le choix des écoles peuvent, à long terme, réduire l’incidence du terrorisme dans les sociétés occidentales.

Aux USA, les écoles catholiques ont prouvé une intégration réussie en société et celles-ci voient un nombre croissant d’élèves non-catholiques s’y inscrire, et produisent des résultats en termes de civisme égaux voire meilleurs que ceux des écoles publiques traditionnelles. Ce travail soutient que cela peut valoir aussi pour les écoles islamiques de l’Occident culturel. Le soutien de l’État aux écoles religieuses islamistes authentiques de l’Ouest pourrait fournir une instruction pour les jeunes musulmans plus fidèle à leur religion et moins critique de l’Occident car il serait transparent et soumis à l’examen public. Actuellement, la majorité des écoles islamiques aux USA sont gouvernées indépendamment de la mosquée locale.

Bien sûr, il existe des cas contredisant cette hypothèse. Mais si ce n’est pas simplement l’école publique qui a fait de vous un citoyen démocratique, ce n’est pas simplement l’école religieuse qui a fait du musulman un terroriste.

Claudia Silva


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