Realising the right to education depends on effective implementation. To achieve this, State obligations and political commitments under international instruments must be reflected in constitutions and national legislation and translated into policies and programmes.
UNESCO monitors the implementation of its standard-setting instruments in order to bring them into broader use, with the support of Member States as prime movers, international organizations, decision-makers, teachers, the intellectual community and all civil society stakeholders.
UNESCO Strategy on Standard-Setting Instruments
UNESCO’s Governing Bodies recently adopted a Strategy concerning standard-setting instruments. Covering the period 2015-2021, it aims to improve the visibility, ratification, implementation, monitoring and cooperation regarding education-related standard-setting instruments. The Strategy is aimed at ensuring that UNESCO’s standard-setting instruments form a central element of the education programme across all the functions and activities conducted by UNESCO in this field. Furthermore, making better use of UNESCO’s Conventions and Recommendations in Education will help to advance implementation of the Education 2030 agenda.
Conventions and Recommendations
The UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education is the cornerstone among its standard-setting instruments in the field of education.
The Recommendation against Discrimination in Education, adopted by UNESCO in 1960, sought to take into account the difficulties that certain States might experience, for various reasons and in particular on account of their federal structure, in ratifying the Convention against Discrimination in Education. Barring differences in wording and in legal scope inherent to the nature of these two categories of instrument, the content of the Recommendation is identical to that of the Convention.
In addition, the reporting obligation under the provisions of Article VII of the Convention and of the Recommendation is the same.
Other important Recommendations which serve to further define and develop states’ responsibilities in the field of education cover issues such as the status of teachers and of higher-education teaching personnel, technical and vocation education and training, education for international understanding, co-operation and peace and education relating to human rights, adult education and learning, and the recognition of studies and qualifications. These are valuable in the monitoring of how the right to education is implemented in the national legal system and are a key resource for all stakeholders in this field.
According to UNESCO’s Constitution, Member States are under obligation to submit regular reports on the implementation of standard-setting instruments in order to inform the Organization and all the States of the international community. More information
The latest Consultation of Member States on measures taken to implement UNESCO’s Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education the Ninth Consultation (2016-2017) is underway with results to be presented to UNESCO’s governing bodies at the end of 2017. The outcome of consultations of Member States are examined by the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, which is part of UNESCO’s Executive Board.