Southern African consultation on the Human Rights Guiding Principles on the obligations of States with regards to the delivery of education by public and private schools
The Equal Education Law Centre, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, and Open Society Foundation for South Africa will hold the Southern Africa Regional Consultation on the Human Rights Guiding Principles on the obligations of States with regards to the delivery of education by public and private schools, in Johannesburg from 14-17 August 2017. Joining the consultation will be 36 education and human rights stakeholders representing 12 countries in the region.
The last two decades have seen a significant increase in the scale and scope of non-state actors in education, particularly in developing countries. A critical question in each context is whether the involvement of the private sector in education is acceptable or not. What is still missing, however, is a broadly accepted understanding of the normative framework against which to make this assessment. While international human rights law has the potential to fill in this gap, the existing legal framework still needs to be clarified and consolidated.To do so, over the past 12 months various education stakeholders have been working together to develop a set of Guiding Principles that compile together existing customary and conventional human rights law as it relates to private actors in education. They are intended to be operational in and adaptable to different contexts, and to provide a basis for advocacy, policy development, and litigation.
As part of a broad consultative process to develop the Guiding Principles, various regional and thematic consultations are being convened over the course of 2017 with a range of stakeholders including civil society organisations, State representatives, human rights organisations, academics, education lawyers, international and regional organisations and other actors. Previous consultations have taken place in Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific region, Nairobi for East Africa and Paris for Northern America and Western Europe.
During this consultation, participants will learn more about the Guiding Principles and input directly into their development. Participants will bring their own context, experiences and challenges to the table in shaping a common understanding of the impact of private actors in education.