Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council——Realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl

Human Rights Council


Thirty-second session


Agenda item 3


Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 1 July 2016

32/20.           Realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl

The Human Rights Council,


Guided by the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations,


Recalling in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and all other relevant international human rights instruments,


Recalling all relevant Human Rights Council resolutions, in particular resolution 27/6 of 25 September 2014,


Recalling also the United Nations Millennium Declaration, in which Member States resolved to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, would be able to complete a full course of primary schooling, and that girls and boys would have equal access to all levels of education, in accordance with the Education for All agenda and education-related Millennium Development Goals, and welcoming the adoption by the General Assembly of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,1 including its Goal 4 on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all,


Recalling further the need to ensure that all girls and boys have equal access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education, the need to eliminate gender disparities in education by 2030, and the need to build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive, accessible and effective learning environments for all,


Welcoming the World Education Forum 2015, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in collaboration with the United Nations



  • General Assembly resolution 70/1.








Children’s Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 19 to 22 May 2015, and the declaration “Education 2030: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all”, adopted at the Forum,


Noting with appreciation the work carried out by all relevant organs, bodies and mechanisms of the United Nations system within their respective mandates, in particular the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the efforts of organizations and civil society to promote girls’ enjoyment of the right to education,


Deeply concerned that, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, none of the Education for All goals had been achieved globally by 2015, despite the advances that had been achieved over the past decade,


Deeply concerned also that, despite progress in recent years, many girls, including girls with disabilities and those belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minority groups, continue to suffer severe discrimination and exclusion in education systems throughout their lives, and that almost one third of all countries have not achieved parity in primary education,


Deeply concerned further that humanitarian crises and armed conflicts are depriving children, especially girls, of access to education,


Strongly condemning attacks on and the abduction of girls because they attend or wish to attend school, deploring all attacks, including terrorist attacks, on educational institutions as such, their students and staff, and recognizing the negative impact that such attacks have on the progressive realization of the right to education, in particular of girls,


Reaffirming the equal right of every child to education without discrimination of any kind, and noting the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination often faced by girls,


Deeply concerned that girls’ access to education continues to be impaired by social and cultural stereotypes, violence against girls and the targeting of schools by violent extremist movements and terrorist groups,


Determined to continue to make the progressive realization of the right to education a reality for every girl,


Recognizing that education is a multiplier right that empowers women and girls to make choices to claim their human rights, including the right to participate in public affairs, and to participate fully in the making of decisions that shape society,


  1. Welcomes the convening, at its twenty-ninth session, of a panel discussion on realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl with a view to sharing


lessons learned and best practices, and the summary report of the discussion prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;2


  1. Urges all States to strengthen and intensify their efforts to realize progressively the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, such as by taking the necessary and appropriate measures:


(a) To eliminate discrimination against girls in education and to remove all obstacles that hinder the right to education of every girl, including discriminatory laws and


  • A/HRC/30/23.








policies, customs, traditions or religious considerations, financial barriers, violence, including sexual violence in the school environment, the worst forms of child labour, and harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation, gender stereotypes, child early and forced marriage and early pregnancy;


(b)       To ensure that educational  institutions are  safe and  free of violence and




(c)       To address the rate of dropout from school among girls and help to ensure


that every girl completes a full course of high-quality primary and secondary education and training and has equal access to all levels of education with the proper support and reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements and without discrimination of any kind;


(d)       To make a place available for every girl in a primary and secondary school


within a reasonable distance of her home;


(e)       To take steps so that every girl, regardless of her circumstances, can travel to


and from and attend school in an inclusive, accessible, safe and secure environment, including by providing security services and adopting policies designated to eliminate all forms of school violence and facilitating safe and secure school transportation services, when necessary and as appropriate;


  • To provide equal access to education for girls from marginalized or excluded groups, girls with disabilities, indigenous girls, girls who are members of ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities and girls living in rural areas;


(g) To provide adequate support for disadvantaged girls and their families to ensure access to schools and to prevent girls from being removed from schools for economic reasons;


(h) To provide every primary and secondary school with professionally trained and qualified teachers, including female teachers, capable of providing effective individualized support in an environment that is child friendly and that maximizes academic and social development consistent with the goal of full inclusion, and to develop an overall non-discriminatory, inclusive, accessible and culturally sensitive, safe, supportive and secure environment conducive to providing a quality education, including human rights education, to every girl, to allow the fullest development of her abilities and enable her to be a proactive actor in society;


(i) To provide every primary and secondary school with full access to separate, adequate and safe water and sanitation services, properly equipped with hygiene kits, that contribute to the enrolment and retention of girls in schools, and to protect girls from being physically threatened or assaulted while using sanitation facilities;


(j)        To ensure that every girl who completes primary and secondary education


has the basic skills to participate effectively in society, including financial literacy;


(k)       To   eliminate   gender-based   stereotypes   from  all   educational  processes,


practices and teaching materials, and to raise awareness with regard to the importance of the progressive realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl;


(l) To prioritize education in State budgets, to build education systems, and to develop laws and policies founded on the principles of equality and the rights of the child;


(m) To support access to education for girls in emergency situations, migrant, internally displaced and refugee girls and those in humanitarian crises, including in armed-conflict and post-armed-conflict situations;











  1. Encourages States to increase investments and international cooperation to allow all girls to complete free, equitable, inclusive and quality early childhood, primary and secondary education, including by scaling-up and strengthening initiatives, such as the Global Partnership for Education, and to explore additional innovative mechanisms based on models combining public and private resources, while ensuring that all education providers give due respect to the right to education;


  1. Encourages international cooperation to complement the efforts of States in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to eliminating discrimination in education, and supports the efforts of the United Nations system in this regard;


  1. Urges States to support the efforts of developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to realize progressively the right to education, including the progressive realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl through appropriate resources, including financial and technical resources, in support of country-led national education plans;


  1. Reaffirms the  importance  of  enhancing  the  dialogue  between  the  United


Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and other partners that pursue the goals of girls’ education, with a view to integrating further the right to education of girls into the operational activities of the United Nations system;


  1. Encourages the High Commissioner and the relevant special procedure mandate holders to give the required attention to realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl in carrying out their mandates and in their reporting, and to work collectively towards its realization through practical and efficient steps;


  1. Requests the High Commissioner, in close cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, including States, the United Nations Children’s Fund, other relevant United Nations bodies and agencies, relevant special procedure mandate holders, regional organizations and human rights bodies, national human rights institutions and civil society, including children themselves, to prepare a report on the realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, and on the obstacles limiting the effective access of girls to education, and to make recommendations on appropriate measures to eliminate gender disparities in education by 2030, taking into account Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals, and to submit the report to the Council for its consideration at its thirty-fifth session;


  1. Decides to remain seized of the matter.


44th meeting

1 July 2016


[Adopted without a vote.]