Defending the right to education for all

Mask med

Action Education is fully committed to making the right to education for all : adults and children, women and men. This right is enshrined in fundamental texts such as the Declaration of Human Rights or the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It offers each child the keys to prepare for adult life, to escape poverty, to find his or her place as a citizen, and to protect him or herself and his or her family.

What is the right to education? The commitment of the CRC

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted in 1989 by the United Nations, is the first binding text to make the under-18s subjects of fundamental, obligatory and non-negotiable rights (civil, economic, social, etc.). The CRC contains 54 articles, including the the child's right to education.

The 196 States that have ratified the CRC commit themselves to :

  • Make primary education free and compulsory,
  • promote the organisation of different forms of secondary, general and vocational education,
  • and ensure access to higher education for all, according to their abilities, by all appropriate means.

They are committed to improving education around the world as part of their solidarity and international development policy.

The right to education is also enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1789.

Numerous conventions and treaties protect this fundamental human right to the exercise of other rights. Signatory states undertake to respect, protect and fulfil it.

Many states, including France, have also included the the right to free, compulsory and accessible education for allin their constitution.

97772678 10158410514227265 3910204905645670400 n

The limits of the right to education and the scourge of child labour

However, more than 30 years after the adoption of the CRC, the right to education for all is still struggling to be respected.

59 million children of primary school age, 62 million of lower secondary school age and 138 million of upper secondary school age are not in school. Only 99 countries legally guarantee at least 12 years of free education (UIS, 2018).

After the de-schoolingon child labour is another scourge facing the right to education. Even today, 160 million children are forced into child labour and half of them are engaged in hazardous work (ILO, 2020).

How does Action Education defend the right to education?

At Action Education, we believe that lifelong learning is the key to a more just world. It is our duty to enable all the people we work with to acquire the necessary skills.

For more than 40 years, Action Education has been implementing advocacy actions and field projects to ensure that the right to education for everyone, everywhere in the world, is respected.

We focus our actions on those populations most at risk of inequality, including children, girls and women, to remove all the barriers that currently prevent their access to education. schooling.

We are currently running more than 90 projects in Asia, Africa and Europe to ensure lifelong learning for all. quality educationthrough actions such as :

  • construction and development of schools;
  • improvement of school environments (construction of wells, sanitation systems, latrines, etc.);
  • Training of teachers, administrative staff and communities for better school management;
  • Raising awareness of the importance of education among children and adults ;
  • Advocacy with local administrations and governments to improve the effectiveness of the right to education in all our countries of intervention.
Gramya 055 Copyright Sandrine ASSOULINE
Education for sustainable development, peace and global citizenship
Educating future citizens

In several of our countries of operation, we are setting up school governments in primary schools.

A group of students, democratically elected by the others, is responsible for the different aspects of school life: environment, cleanliness, schoolyard, canteen...

This encourages children's participation in issues that concern them directly and makes them more responsible. They develop a social and civic awareness and give them the opportunity to work on their oral and written language skills in a different way, to make themselves heard and to express their ideas.

Health education
Protecting children's health

Action Education believes that it is necessary to ensure the well-being and rights of all children in order to guarantee their access to quality education.

One of our priorities is therefore to provide children with a healthy environment. Poor sanitary conditions have a considerable impact on children's schooling. Repeated illnesses lead to absenteeism and discourage parents from sending their children to school.

We also attach particular importance to the nutrition of the children we accompany. 

Girls' focus
Combating child labour

Children are also exposed to the dangers of trafficking and forced labour. In the world today, 160 million children are still forced to work and half of them are engaged in hazardous work.

Our priority is to ensure that no child is at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation such as: forced marriage, rape, prostitution, labour, abandonment, trafficking or drug abuse.

We do this by raising awareness in communities and developing preventive measures to provide effective support to working children.

Our projects

for the right to education

Our news

on the right to education

Going further

Discover our other fights

Want to know more about our advocacy work?

Contact Vanessa Martin Advocacy Officer at Action Education