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13:00-14:30 CEST

24 June 2022: The digitalisation of education and its impact on the right to education

NORRAG and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education which is hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) are organising an online side event to the Human Rights Council on 24 June 2022 at 13:00-14:30 (CEST/Geneva). This event will explore how digitalisation is transforming education around the world and celebrates the United Nations Special Rapporteur’s 2022 report on the impact of the digitalisation of education on the right to education. The webinar will be conducted in English and French, with simultaneous interpretation.

About the webinar

Digitalisation is transforming education around the world, and the pace of change has been rapidly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Digitalisation has profound impacts on the right to education, and for education systems, nations and communities globally.

This side event of the Human Rights Council, organised by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education and NORRAG, celebrates the launch of the Special Rapporteur’s 2022 report on the digitalisation of education and showcases the range of innovative perspectives surfaced during the Expert Consultations that NORRAG curated for the Special Rapporteur.

A multi-disciplinary panel will reflect on key themes in the report, including: the protection of children’s rights, forms of privatisation and their impact, the use of data and datafication, and “digital divides” and diversity. The event will conclude with an open discussion and Q&A between the audience and panellists.

To coincide with the event, NORRAG is publishing a multi-disciplinary collection, “Policy Insights: the Digitalisation of Education,” which shares learning from this partnership with the UN Special Rapporteur (hosted by the OHCHR), providing profound but digestible insights for education policy and practice.

Reflecting an ongoing collaboration between the Special Rapporteur and NORRAG, the event highlights under-represented perspectives on the impact of digitalisation on the right to education for all.

Speakers and Discussants

H.E. Mr. Rui Macieira, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

Prior to his appointment to Geneva, Rui Macieira was the Ambassador of Portugal to Denmark and Lithuania from 2014 to 2018. He served as Director General for Foreign Policy from 2012 to 2014; Director General for European Affairs from 2011 to 2012; Deputy Director General for Foreign Policy from 2008 to 2011; and Deputy Director General for European Affairs from 2006 to 2008. Rui Macieira was the Deputy Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations in New York from 2002 to 2006. Other posts he has held since joining the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in March 1984 include Deputy Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister from 1995 to 1997; Deputy Head of Mission at the Portuguese Embassy in Rabat in 1995; and First Secretary at the Portuguese Embassy in Paris from 1990 to 1995. Rui Macieira has a degree in Economics from the Portuguese Catholic University, in Lisbon (1982).

Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

Originally from Burkina Faso, Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry took office on 1st August 2016 following her appointment at the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council. Dr. Boly Barry holds a PhD in Economic History from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal. She is the former Minister of Education and Literacy of Burkina Faso, and has consulted widely for various governments and international institutions on the right to education. Dr. Boly Barry has been an advocate on gender issues in education. She also has ample knowledge and experience in training and research, as a visiting professor at University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; University of Louvain La Neuve, Belgium; and as a lecturer at Ouagadougou University, Burkina Faso; Vitoria University, Brazil; and Fribourg University, Switzerland.

Hye Jung Han, Researcher and Advocate, Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

Hye Jung Han is a researcher and advocate in the Children’s Rights Division, where she specializes on children’s rights and technology. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked at UNICEF, where she advised teams across the world on the ethical use of data and technologies to deliver assistance to the world’s most vulnerable children. She has also worked to deliver humanitarian aid to children and families with UNICEF South Sudan and with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan, and was seconded to the World Food Progamme to support cross-border negotiations. These experiences have given her a keen understanding of the realities of how technologies can reach, or fail to reach, the lives and rights of children.

Dr Janja Komljenovic, Director of the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation, Lancaster University

Janja Komljenovic is a Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on higher education markets and digital economy. Janja leads an ESRC-funded project investigating value in digitalised higher education. She has published more than 20 journal articles and book chapters, has been invited to speak at more than 30 international events, and acts as a consultant on policy projects.

Janet Kwami, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Furman University

Janet Kwami is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Furman University, USA. She has over 20 years of experience in higher education and is a leading expert in gender, digital technologies, and socio-economic development in the Global South. Her current research explores social inequalities and the appropriation, use, and impacts of digital technologies in marginalised communities.

Neil Selwyn, Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University

Neil Selwn is a research professor from Monash University (Australia), having previously worked in the UCL Institute of Education (UK). He has been researching educational use of digital technologies over the past 25 years. Dr. Selwyn is recognised as a leading international researcher in the area of digital education – with particular expertise in the constraints and problems faced when technology-based education is implemented.



After registration, please make sure to check your spam folder if you have not received the confirmation email. In addition, we recommend users from public institutions to use a personal email address to register as Zoom may be blocked by your place of work.

Organising partners

The Office of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education is hosted by OHCHR, the leading UN entity on Human Rights. The OHCHR represent the world’s commitment to the promotion and protection of the full range of human rights and freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Learn more

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