Independent UN expert Kishore Singh on Friday urged world leaders [press release] to guarantee the availability of quality education without discrimination, particularly for girls, minorities and indigent children. "The right to education means more than just being able to attend school," Singh said. Singh also emphasized the increasing importance of educational quality in technical and vocational education and training in a quality perspective of education. These comments were made in Paris following the first Global Education for All [official website] meeting led by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [official website]. Education for All aims to bring educational benefits to every citizen in every society and has provided a framework of specific goals for governments to accelerate progress for meeting educational goals by 2015.
These statements are part of a global call for the elimination of discrimination in educational settings. In September the UN urged Bosnia and Herzgovina [JURIST report] to do more to promote the education of minorities within the country. Also in September the Human Rights Watch commented on the lack of academic freedom [JURIST report] for many students, particularly women, in Iraq. In April Amnesty International challenged European governments to do more to address discrimination [JURIST report] against Muslims in educational settings. Last December the UN also spoke against discrimination of LGBT individuals [JURIST report] in educational settings.