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The Right to Education

The United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. It was drafted by representatives from all regions of the world as a common standard for all peoples and nations.  The declaration was formed after World War II in an effort to move towards a free, just and peaceful world.  There are 30 rights listed on the declaration. The UN identifies these rights as international law but most countries do not recognize the rights as legally binding. Click here to view a simplified version of the declaration 

TED Ed Video: What are Human Rights?


Article 26: Everyone has the right to Education 

As defined by the United Nations

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.


Five Facts on the Impact of Educating Girls

1: Educated women are less likely to die in childbirth:  If all mothers completed primary education, maternal deaths would be reduced by two-thirds, saving 98,000 lives. -UNESCO 

2: Educating girls reduces child marriage

When a girl remains in secondary school, she is six times less likely to marry young. –UNICEF .  

3: Educating girls leads to lower birth rates and fewer child pregnancies:  lmost 60% fewer girls would become pregnant under 17 years in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia if they all had a secondary education. -UNESCO 


4: Education reduces pay gaps:  In Pakistan, women with a primary education earn 51% what men earn. With a secondary education, they earn 70% what men earn -UNESCO 

5: Educating women reduces stunting and malnutrition

Graph by UNESCO Continue reading the UNESCO Girl’s Education Fact Sheet here.

Education is a universal human right, but it’s not enough to only focus on academic education.

The fundamental nature of education in many countries limits opportunities for girls. Without equality, girls lack the opportunity to reach their full potential. Facts prove the monumental impact that education has on a girls’ future and yet the gender gap remains. 

The International Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in mankind’s history. It set out for the first time fundamental rights to be universally protected and has been translated into 500 languages. Now is the time to make these rights a reality.

Check back next week for our winter reading list featuring books about education and youth. Share the blog link we post on Facebook December 20th, 2017 for your chance to win a signed book and personal note from an author on the list! This is a great opportunity you won't want to miss. Who doesn't love a good book about youth empowerment as they snuggle up by the fire on these cold winter nights?


Until then,

 Synnove Vandal
 Strategic Communications Intern


Educate a child and change a world.  Educate a women and transform a community.