Human Rights Day

Let’s Celebrate, Support and Further the Right to Education

  • 10 December 2020
  • 4 min read

Today, 10 December, is Human Rights Day. This year it is also the 60th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, the first international legally binding instrument covering the right to education extensively.

This landmark treaty encompasses States' obligations to ensure free and compulsory education, promotes equality of educational opportunity and prohibits any form of discrimination.

This year, more than ever before, the right to education needs our support! With the global pandemic, billions of children have de facto been denied quality education for short or longer periods of time. Online learning is particularly challenging for the most deprived. Girls are, once again, the primary victims of a limited or restricted access to education. While all discriminations are yet to be fully addressed, it is time to reaffirm our commitment to the right to education.

Throughout the Pandemic, the University of Portsmouth has been at the forefront of the education battle in supporting students nationally and internationally.

The Democratic Citizenship Theme has mobilised resources to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time, which directly relate to the right to education.Today, a number of our colleagues wish to express their support and endorse our objectives in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education.

Education is the key that will unlock the path to the solution to all of the problems that we face. All of us in the education sector have a duty to ensure that access to education is available to all.

Professor Paul Hayes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Education is transformative. It gives people an opportunity to improve both their lives and society as a whole, which is why we must provide education to all.

Dr Harriet Dunbar-Morris, Dean of Learning and Teaching, and Reader in Higher Education

The only route to substantive equality is through equal access to education for everyone.

Dr. Panos Kapotas, Senior Lecturer, Law School

As an Associate Professor in Global Childhood Studies and founder of the Mental Health in Childhood and Education Hub at the University of Portsmouth, I would like to express my solidarity and professional commitment to the right of inclusive and diverse Education for children from all communities in the world.

Dr. Wendy Sims-Schouten, Reader (Associate Professor) in Childhood Studies & Director of PGS School of Education and Sociology

Full and meaningful participation in learning depends on a family's financial and intellectual resources, confidence, health and wellbeing. As humanity's best hope for redressing global inequalities, we must continue to fight for children's right to learning and create environments in which they are able to access confident futures.

Dr. Emma Maynard, School of Education & Sociology

Equality cannot exist if children are denied the basic right to equal, accessible and fair education. And equality must be built from the ground up -- it doesn't just start and end with education. As a Research Assistant and member of the Democratic Citizenship theme, I am proud to be working with colleagues who are fighting to guarantee basic human rights to children on a global scale.

Claudia Viggiano, PhD Candidate and RA for the Democratic Citizenship Theme

Education is lighting the torch in one's life, every human being deserves to fully enjoy the light and heat from it. The equal right to learn is the goal we should make an unremitting effort to achieve, and we will strive for it.

He Yuan, PhD Candidate and RA for the Democratic Citizenship Theme

I support the provision of high quality education that serves the needs of children, especially the most vulnerable like migrants, refugees, children born of war and those with disabilities.

Tonny Raymond Kirabira, PhD Candidate

There is no greater freedom than that of knowledge. Education is for all, at anytime and anywhere. I have become an academic to contribute to the realisation of the right to education as a mean to live one's life fully and freely.

Professor Leïla Choukroune, Professor of International law and Director of Democratic Citizenship Theme

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