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Childrenʼs Rights and Education

International Perspectives


Edited By Beth Blue Swadener, Laura Lundy, Janette Habashi and Natasha Blanchet-Cohen

This book compares ways in which children’s rights in, to, and through education, formal and informal, are viewed and implemented in a variety of social and political contexts, aiming to shed light on how policies and practices can improve equal access to high quality education in an environment which is respectful of children’s rights. Chapters focus on understanding the opportunities for and challenges of addressing children’s rights to participation and to inclusion. Authors draw from a variety of disciplines, including critical and cultural studies of childhood, and bring internationally comparative policy perspectives to share nuanced and contrasting examples of ways in which a rights-based approach to education might empower children and youth. The book deepens and complicates research on children’s education rights, and will contribute to courses in comparative education, childhood studies, education policy, and children’s rights.


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Kishore Singh United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education More than 20 years ago, the declaration adopted at the World Summit for Children (1990) stated that “There can be no task nobler than giving every child a better future .” The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted the preceding year (1989), laid down a comprehensive framework for the rights of the child, including the right to education . Under the convention, which is the most universally ratified human rights instrument, states that parties have obliga- tions to incorporate its provisions into domestic laws and policies and to ensure their implementation so that all children everywhere enjoy their right to educa- tion . At the same time as the World Summit for Children, the Education for All (EFA) agenda, launched at the World Conference on Education for All (1990) and moved forward by the World Education Forum (2000), expressed collective commitment by the international community to the realization of universal pri- mary education of good quality as the right of every child—boys and girls alike . However, in spite of progress over the past two decades within these interna- tional frameworks, there is an appalling gap between the commitments and the reality . Nearly 60 million children remain deprived of their fundamental right to education—including those belonging to economically and socially marginalized and vulnerable groups such as linguistic and ethnic minorities, immigrants, the handicapped, indigenous peoples, child victims of conflict in many countries, and SwadenerEtal.indd 11 06/08/13 8:05 AM...

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