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21 Dec 2017

Geneva consultation on Human Rights Guiding Principles on State Obligations with regards to Private Involvement in Education

Together with the Missions of Finland, France, and Portugal, NORRAG, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Amnesty International, the Equal Education Law Centre, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Initiative for Economic and Social Rights, and the Right to Education Initiative, organised a consultation on Human Rights Guiding Principles on State Obligations with regards to Private Involvement in Education. The event took place on Monday February 5th, 2018 at the Maison de la Paix, Salle S8, The Graduate Institute, Geneva.

Since 2015, a loose network of stakeholders has been working together to support the development of Guiding Principles that compile existing customary and conventional human rights law as it relates to private actors in education. The working title of the Guiding Principles is ‘Human Rights Guiding Principles on State Obligations with regards to Private Involvement in Education’. They are intended to be operational in, and adaptable to, different contexts, and aim to provide a basis for policy work and serve as a concrete tool that states and policy-makers can use.

The content of the Guiding Principles will be defined and finalised by a group of recognised independent experts from around the world, through ongoing work, until the finalisation conference to be held in the Fall of 2018. The ambition is that the text will become the normative reference point and policy tool on the issue of private involvement in education.

As part of a broad consultative process of the Guiding Principles, various regional and thematic consultations have been convened over the course of 2016 and 2017, which included input from a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society organisations, state representatives, human rights organisations, academics, international and regional organisations, experts in the fields of education and law, and other actors.

The Geneva consultation aimed to provide an opportunity for discussion on the process, key concepts, and policy implication for states and existing UN processes, such as the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, with Geneva-based stakeholders, including in particular, representatives of state missions, civil society organisations, and international organisations, as well as UN experts and academic researchers.

To find out more about the Guiding Principles, please visit:

Consultation Programme

  • 8.30 – 9.00: Registration
  • 9.00 – 9.30: Opening (Ms. Ann Skelton, Member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; Ms. Boly Barry, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education; Prof. Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Director of NORRAG, The Graduate Institute, Geneva; and Mission representatives)
  • 9.30 – 10.30: Presentation of the process for the development of the Guiding Principles to-date and Q&A (moderated by Amnesty International, GI-ESCR, RTE)
  • 10.30 – 11.00: Coffee break
  • 11.00 – 12.00: Roundtable on challenging issues extracted from the Guiding Principles
  • 12.00 – 12.45: Policy impacts and relevance for the SDGs and other UN processes, and country-level implementation (moderated by NORRAG)
  • 12.45 – 13:00: Closing remarks
  • 13.00: Lunch

For the detailed programme and background information, please click here.

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