Join the campaign

Victor Jules Raison/Arete/GEM Report

Join the campaign

“Youth play a vital role holding governments responsible for equitable quality education to account. The GEM Report shows we can work together to improve education systems, and play our part in reaching our education goal. Join us in helping us call on governments to make sure the right to education is enforced” Dr Koumbou Boly Barry, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

Join the GEM Report’s campaign and make sure we can hold governments to account for education.

Governments are responsible for the right to education. If governments aren’t doing as they said they would, we should be able to legally claim our right to education. The GEM Report shows that every country in the world has ratified at least one human rights treaty guaranteeing some aspect of the right to education, 82% of national constitutions guarantee the right to education, but citizens in only 55% of countries have the legal ability to take government to court for violations – and in only 41% of countries have they made use of this potential.

Citizens should be able to take their governments to court for violating the right to education

If the right to education is not enforceable in courts, there is no access to justice and governments can violate it without us being able to hold them to account.

Successful court cases have prompted changes to unfair legislation and policies, including establishing free primary and secondary education in Colombia, mandating the government to increase its spending on pre-primary education in Argentina, ensuring children with HIV/AIDS are not denied an education in India, and guaranteeing appropriate school infrastructure in South Africa.

We want you to help us call on governments to make sure the right to education is enforced. This campaign is supported by the Right to Education Initiative.

How you can take part

  1. Sign up to our campaign. We will not share your details with other partners, but will contact you with campaign updates, materials, and successes!
    • Your voice will be added to a petition for the international group leading decisions on our global education goal, the SDG 4 Steering Committee, to make the call for the right to education to be enforced one of their core recommendations when they meet in February 2018.
    • By signing up, we will also inform you when there are bills or constitutional reforms going through parliament in different countries worldwide that would reflect their international obligations related to the right to education in their national law. These could include bills to ban child marriage, corporal punishment or to make primary and secondary education free, for example. We will ask you to join us in sending a multitude of tweets and messages to relevant parliamentarians to ensure education bills are passed.
  2. Send us a video clip: We are running a video campaign from December 10th, Human Rights Day, and want you to send in clips to tell us whether your government is guaranteeing everyone’s right to education. Make it short (5-10 seconds or so). Record it on your phone if you want.
    • Your video clip could include examples, such as ‘We have no toilets in our school’, ‘Some children in my country can’t afford to go to school but education is supposed to be free’, ‘We have no textbooks to work from’, ‘Children in my country are being shut out by a school because of their ethnicity’. Go to the campaign webpage to submit video, and share it via social media using #WhosAccountable. Read the brief on the GEM Report webpage for the types of video clips to submit.
  1. Write a blog, or opinion piece to send to your local media about your engagement with this campaign. Share it with us too on gemevents@unesco.org so that we can see about sharing it on the Right to Education Initiative blog and the GEM Report’s World Education Blog.

Let’s work together to ensure governments take their human rights obligations seriously.

Whatever you do along these lines, keep us informed so that we can support you, and encourage other campaigners to do the same.