Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Intervention – United Nations 3rd Committee: Interactive Dialogue on Right to Education

New York, 23/10/2017 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 171205_4
Statements on behalf of the EU

European Union Intervention at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee Interactive dialogue with Ms. Koumbou Boly Barry, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education.

Mr. Chair,

We would like to thank the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Ms. Koumbou Boly Barry, for her presentation and to reiterate our support for her work.

Madame Special Rapporteur,

The European Union fully recognizes the instrumental role of the right to education in order to ensure the fulfilment of other human rights as well as its importance in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Madame Special Rapporteur,

Equality between women and men is a founding value for the EU. In your report you stress the need for equity in education. You highlight that families often favour boys when investing in education and that early pregnancies, child labour and gender-based violence are evident obstacles for girls in accessing or completing their education, leading to gender disparities.

The EU is concerned about the assessment that 15 million girls of primary school age will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school, compared with about 10 million boys. We echo your call on States to identify and address the multiple barriers faced by women and girls in accessing education.

You mention good examples of measures recommended by treaty bodies like CEDAW to ensure equality in the enjoyment of the right by girls. Could you elaborate on the need to provide safe educational environments free from discrimination and violence?

Madame Special Rapporteur,

Amongst persons in vulnerable situations, you mention in your report the situation of refugees.  You recall the obligation for States to provide refugees with equal access to elementary education, and with as favourable treatment as possible regarding all other forms of education. You further highlight some good country initiatives like the inclusion of potential mass movements of refugees or internally displaced persons in national education plans. While noting these initiatives, we would like to know if you could share some examples of best practice regarding short-term measures aimed at providing access to education for refugees?

Thank you.

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