Working Group on Children and the Right to Education


Education is every child’s right, and is crucial for their development, health, living standards, and preparing them for a responsible life in a free society. However, despite current international law and government commitments, 244 million children remain out of school. For many children, the cost of education remains a significant barrier, disproportionately affecting low-income and the most marginalised students.

The global education crisis has been further exacerbated by conflicts and the unprecedented disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. To address this issue, it is imperative to prioritize the strengthening of the right to education, not only to remediate the current devastation but also to build back better and more resilient education systems. While the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other treaties clearly guarantee children the right to free primary education, they do not explicitly recognize a right to early childhood education, nor require states to ensure free pre-primary education or immediate access for all children to free secondary education.


  • The overall objective of this Working Group is to bring together members of Child Rights Connect and other interested NGOs for coordinated advocacy (with a focus on the UN Human Rights Council and other Geneva-based mechanisms) to ensure the right to education for all children.
  • The Working Group’s specific objectives are to:
    • Engage member states and members of the UN Human Rights Council in efforts to strengthen the right to education, including through a possible new legally-binding international instrument that expressly recognizes a right to early childhood education, and guarantees all children the right to at least one year of free pre-primary education and to free, quality, and inclusive secondary education with the same urgency as free primary education.
    • Facilitate NGO inputs to the Committee on the Rights of the Child to support robust and systematic recommendations to ensure that states implement the right to education to the maximum extent possible.
    • Initiate and organize forums (e.g., Human Rights Council side events, webinars, expert consultations) with UN member states and other stakeholders to promote the right to education, including through stronger international standards.
    • Other objectives as determined by members of the working group.


No specific resources yet.

Members & Affiliates

No organisations match your search criteria.

Strategic Partners