Education is a Human Right

Education is a Human Right

In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming January 24 as International Day of Education. Education is essential for both lifting people out of poverty and unlocking each person’s full potential.

Article 26 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads:

    • “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
    • Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
    • Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

This is something that can and should be done in the education systems in our countries. Teachers need to be given the tools and bandwidth to make it happen. However, that has not yet occurred everywhere for everyone. Therefore, citizens of Earth—you and me–have the responsibility and power to make sure all people are educated on their human rights and are directed towards the full development of their personality and achieving their full potential.

According to UN statistics, “about 258 million children and adolescents around the world do not have the opportunity to enter or complete school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school. Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable.”

Those are statistics relating to part one of this article and they are pretty bleak. I do not know of any stats currently measuring parts 2 and 3 but I’d guess they are even lower. I wish someone had worked with me to fully develop my personality and potential. It is something I’ve had to do on my own and still have not fully achieved. How about you? Are you fulfilling your potential and purpose?

Part 3 of this article having to do with Parental Rights is something that needs to be fought for even in countries like the United States.

One of the keys to making this human right a reality is knowing that it exists. United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) have taken on that responsibility by providing free educational materials to teachers and educators.

If you would like more information on how to help make this human right a reality for yourself and others, email: