Last Wednesday, March 14, OIDEL attended the interactive dialogue on minorities of the Special Rapporteur Mr. Fernand de Varennes. The report identifies four priority issues for his mandate: statelessness and the human rights of minorities; ethnic conflicts, minority rights and promoting inclusiveness and stability; tackling hate speech, xenophobic rhetoric and incitement to hatred against minorities; and education as a human right and its contours and impact for minorities.

These are extremely important issues for minorities. Beyond these priorities, the report highlights the importance of giving more visibility to minorities. It also underscores the crucial role that young people belonging to minorities play in the promotion and protection of the rights of their communities, particularly through the use of digital media and various social media platforms. The Special Rapporteur stresses the importance of including young people belonging to minorities in decision-making processes, which transform them into active agents of change in their respective contexts.

Focusing on the education issue, it is worth noting that it is the first time that a thematic report on education has been prepared within the framework of this mandate, despite the importance of education as a fundamental human right essential for the preservation of identity of minorities. However, some United Nations agencies and other entities have addressed the issue of education from different perspectives, for example in relation to language rights and racial discrimination.

One of the most important problems for minorities and many states around the world continues to be the difficult access to quality education without discrimination. The report determines that education is not only a key component of the protection of the identity of minorities, but it is fundamental for their effective and full inclusion in society. The Special Rapporteur considers that this is a main thematic priority of his mandate, since the existence of minorities should no longer be merely tolerated or accepted.

Finally, the Special Rapporteur hopes to continue promoting the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Minorities, by implementing the mandate and taking advantage of the knowledge and experience of international organizations, civil society groups and other interested parties. Likewise, it is necessary to continue working on the clarification of the nature and human rights of minorities in the field of education, particularly regarding the use of a minority language as a teaching language. This issue occupies a predominant place in many contexts.

Regarding the intervention of some States, all agreed that education is a tool to empower minorities. They also highlighted the important role that education plays and the need to continue advancing and working in this area.

Once again, OIDEL took the floor to make the following oral statement as it follows:


“Thank you Mr. President,

Firstly, we will like to congratulate the new Special Rapporteur on minority issues Mr. Fernand de Varennes and we wish him every success in his work. We also want to take the opportunity to offer him our support and assistance during his mandate.

We celebrate that among the priorities of the new mandate the Special Rapporteur has highlighted the right to education. We want to highlight the important role that education plays for the protection of minorities as it is already recognized in article 4.4 and 4.5 of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. Education is a cultural right and as Emmanuel Kant said it is the process through a man becomes a man in all the spheres, including the identity. The human being cannot be conceived as an isolated island and therefore this is why it is so important that the education a child receives is culturally rooted. The respect of the cultural dimension of education enables children to understand in a holistic way who they are, where do they come from and to understand its surroundings. This is a particularly important in the context of the protection of minorities.

To guarantee the respect of the cultural dimension of education and to guarantee minorities rights, the existence of alternative schools to mainstream system is required. On this regard, we can underline the important role that the Christian Schools are playing for Christian minorities in the Middle East, the Jewish Schools in Europe or the Maori School in New Zealand. On this regard, it is also important to highlight that the States fund these schools. We cannot acknowledge proper recognition of minorities if they have to pay more to attend to schools respectful with their culture.

Thank you.”


Mar Clavijo








WORLD PROGRAMME FOR HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION What to focus for the fourth phase?

DXm40trX0AARXNiFirst, it is appropriate to determine who is part of this World Programme. The NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning (NGO WG on HREL) of the NGO Committee on Human Rights, Geneva, comprising more than 50 NGOs (including OIDEL), aims to ensure civil society participation in the processes of global policy making on human rights education in relation to United Nations institutions, principally the UN Human Rights Council.

The World Programme for Human Rights Education is a global initiative, which aims to provide a common sense of purposes, goals, and action as well as an incentive to enhance human rights education around the world. Thus, two objectives of the NGO WG should be highlighted:

  • To bring and share the views of the different stakeholders, particularly Member States, relevant intergovernmental organizations including UNESCO, national human rights institutions and civil society, regarding the focus on the fourth phase of the World Programme.
  • Take this opportunity to address progress and challenges regarding the on-going third phase which strengthen implementation of the first two phases and promote human rights training for media professionals and journalists.

OIDEL was part of the joint written statement for the Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights including the right to development.

In previous sessions of the Council, one of the most repeated ideas was the importance of the acceptability and cultural appropriateness of the human rights educational programmes. In addition, some delegates stressed the need for a sound methodology that considered different cultural contexts.

The statement also highlights the importance of teaching the concepts of human rights to children correctly. Thus, teachers or instructors should always be respectful of cultural diversity, particularly of cultural minority children.

Likewise, it is necessary to quote the CESCR General Comment No.13 on the Right to Education, which highlighted the importance of education to be acceptable. The Comment understands “acceptable” as relevant, culturally appropriate and of good quality to students and parents.

The first three phases of the World Programme were focused on specific sector. Although resolution 59/113 determines that it is not necessary to focus on a specific objective, group or sector, but it is convenient to focus on a cultural approach to allow a better implementation of Human Rights Education.

Focusing now on the fourth phase, it can be said that it should address youth. One of the reasons is that youth are “critical agents of change” that will shape the future. Young people play an essential role in realizing human rights, peace and sustainable development.

As articulated in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, young people can defend, protect and respect human rights, they can contribute to the realization of a “pluralist and inclusive society”.

The results that the NGO WG expects are the following:

  • The views of other stakeholders regarding the focus of the fourth phase of the World Programme.
  • Up-to-date information on the other relevant initiatives on human rights education, including by exploring synergies with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Finally, OIDEL would like to promote any initiative in this area and to continue working for the protection of the right to education.

Mar Clavijo





Quel thème pour la 4ème phase du Programme mondial d’éducation aux droits de l’homme?


L’OIDEL, qui préside le groupe d’ONGs pour l’éducation et la formation aux droits de l’homme a organisé mardi dernier un événement parallèle, dans le cadre de la 37ème session du Conseil des droits de l’homme, sur le thème de la 4ème phase du Programme mondial, qui débutera en 2020. 

Près de 80 personnes dont 19 représentants de Missions permanentes sont venus écouter les présentations riches et intéressantes des panélistes, parmi lesquels : H.E. Maurizio Enrico Serra, Ambassadeur de l’Italie, représentant ici la plateforme d’Etats sur l’éducation et la formation aux droits de l’homme ainsi que Mr Abdulaziz Almuzaini, Directeur du Bureau de Liasion de l’UNESCO à Genève, tous deux co-sponsors de l’événement. Ont suivi les interventions de Johan Olhagen du Haut-Commissariat ainsi que celle de Lydia Ruprecht, chef de la section de l’éducation à la citoyenneté mondiale et à la paix de l’UNESCO, puis celle de Charline Thiéry, de la Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme de la France et enfin celle de Patrice Meyer-Bisch, Directeur de l’Observatoire de la diversité et des droits culturels.

Le Bureau du Haut-Commissariat va envoyer très prochainement un questionnaire aux gouvernements des Etats membres ainsi qu’aux Institutions Internationales des Droits de l’Homme dans le but de recueillir leurs priorités pour cette quatrième phase et leurs suggestions de thématiques ou de secteurs. Le Groupe de Travail avait à cœur de réunir, à ce moment particulièrement propice, toutes les parties prenantes. L’OIDEL a pour sa part soumis au Conseil une déclaration écrite suggérant une approche culturelle transversale qui, à travers la prise en compte de la diversité culturelle, renforce l’universalité des droits de l’homme. Une perspective particulièrement intéressante pour assurer la mise en œuvre de l’éducation aux droits de l’homme.

Claire de Lavernette, Présidente du Groupe des ONGs sur l’éducation et la formation aux droits de l’homme







Comisión Europea: como mejorar la gestión del sistema educativo

La Comisión Europea ha editado un documento elaborado para reflexionar sobre la gobernanza y la gestión en los sistemas educativos. El informe parte de la base que la reforma de las políticas relativas a la gobernanza y gestión de la educación son imprescindibles para mejorar la calidad de enseñanza y para reducir la distancia entre los alumnos más desaventajados y aquellos más aventajados.

El informe resume  las evidencias científicas más recientes relativas a políticas de gobernanza y gestión de la educación. Esta perspectiva general abarca distintas temáticas entre ellas la calidad de enseñanza, la gestión escolar, el personal docente y su administración. El informe destaca la importancia de la financiación pública para las escuelas de iniciativa social o no gubernamentales. El texto indica que “en relación a la inclusión, los sistemas educativos con escuelas privadas financiadas públicamente tienen menos diferencias entre los resultados de los estudiantes de las escuelas privadas y públicas, que en los sistemas donde solo las escuelas públicas reciben financiación pública[1]. Según el informe, la financiación de las escuelas no gubernamentales debe ir acompañada de un buen marco regulatorio especialmente relativo a las admisiones y al copago.

El texto presenta igualmente un conjunto de buenas prácticas nacionales relativas  a la buena gobernanza y gestión de la educación. Entre las recomendaciones de este informe podemos destacar:

  • El establecimiento de un buen nivel de autonomía para las escuelas especialmente en áreas donde pueda mejorar la calidad y la inclusión.
  • Aumentar la rendición de cuentas especialmente en áreas donde se quiera mejorar la calidad y la inclusión.
  • Mejorar la gobernanza con modificaciones que no sean ambiguas.
  • Asegurarse que las reformas van acompañadas con actividades de desarrollo profesional para preparar a los directores de escuela y los profesores.
  • Asegurarse que todos los actores educativos afectados por las reformas educativas puedan estar involucrados en las distintas etapas de la reforma.
  • Permitir la suficiente flexibilidad en la implementación de estas políticas para asegurar que todos los actores tengan espacio de maniobra y puedan adaptar estas reformas a las especificidades culturales.

Se puede encontrar el informe completo en el siguiente link:

[1] Traducción propia

The clues of the European Commission to improve the management of the educational system

The European Commission has prepared a document made by experts and scholars from around Europe to help policymakers reflect on the management of the educational system. The report assumes that the reforms of governance and management policies are crucial to improve the quality of education and to narrow the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils.

The text shares an overview of evidences on governance and management policies and practices in the educational field. This overview comprises different topics such as quality assurance, school management, admission, staff management and staff development. One point that is important to take into consideration is the public funding of non-governmental schools. The text mentions that “with regard to inclusiveness, education systems with publicly funded private schools have smaller differences in pupils’ outcomes between public and private schools than systems in which only public schools can receive public funding”. According to the report the funding of non-governmental schools must be accompanied with the adequate regulatory framework in relation to admission and tuition fees. It is important to mention that the Commission publishes a document on the importance to publicly fund non-governmental schools for the good of the Union’s citizenry as a whole.

After that the text shares a group of national good practices concerning good governance and management.

This report provides a group of recommendations for national policymakers. Among the recommendations in this report we would like to highlight the following:

  • The establishment of appropriate levels of autonomy for schools in areas where these have been found to improve quality and inclusiveness.
  • Enhance accountability where this supports improvements in quality and inclusiveness
  • Ensuring that governance arrangements are not ambiguous.
  • Ensure that the reforms are accompanied with professional development activities to prepare the school leaders and teachers
  • Ensure that the different education stakeholders affected by the educational reforms can be involved in all the stages of it.
  • Allow the sufficient flexibility in the implementation in order all the stakeholders may have room to maneuver and that these reforms can be adapted to their cultural specificities.

You can find the full report here:


Ignasi Grau

Equity and Inclusion on Education: New report

The last report of the Special Rapporteur, Koumbo Boly Barry, transmitted to the general Assembly is about equity, inclusion and non-discrimination on education.

The first part of the report consist on the legal definition of these terms according to the human right international legislation.

The special rapporteur recalls that human rights international legislation prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition and birth. The definition and the core of what should be considered discrimination in the field of education is based on the Convention against Discrimination with the right to education, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous People.

Also, the special rapport mentions that it is important to distinguish between equity and equality in education to properly tackle this problematic. Equality refers to treating all students the same. Equity is providing all students with what they need to succeed. Thus, equity implies taking into consideration the social circumstances of each student including ethnic or religious background. As said by the special rapporteur. On this regard she mentions “Respect for diversity should be reflected in curricula, which should be sensitive to the culture and religion for learners”

Inclusive education, according to the report, is about providing the same learning environment for students of diverse background and abilities. It is interesting to observe that Mme. Boly mentions that inclusion has to go beyond disable people and include also the inclusion of students with different linguistic and cultural aspects. It is important to observe that the special rapporteur emphasize a participatory and holistic approach to make inclusion happen. On this regard she mentions “Effective inclusion must be implemented through education laws and policies, and it must also incorporated into the culture and practices, within school”. Besides that inclusion is intrinsically good, the special rapporteur recalls that the outcomes of inclusive education are also really good as they lead to the best learning outcomes of students.

After these definitions, the special rapporteur focuses on the legal definitions and implications that Mme. Boly has to be implemented concerning certain vulnerable groups. She made reference to Women and girls, children with disabilities, poor people, cultural ethnic and linguistic groups, indigenous communities, rural population, refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons, nomadic peoples, Roma children, stateless people and the role of private education. In most of the cases she follows the same methodology. For each particular vulnerable group she mentions the international human rights documents that can concern them; secondly it makes references to the comments concerning discrimination, equity and education made by the Committees and thirdly it mentions good practices and challenges. The followed methodology enables an easy use of it due to its systematization.

The Special Rapporteur warns that the primary responsibility for implementing the right to education as an equitable and inclusive right lies with governments. Nevertheless, the international organizations must provide targeted political, financial and technical support, especially in relation to the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and implement the Education 2030 Framework for action.  On this regard, she also recalls the participatory approach of the Education 2030 with the civil society.

Ignasi Grau

Here you can find the full report: