Outcome Statement from the Conference on the Right to Education of Minorities in the Americas
Below is the Outcome Statement from the Conference on the Right to Education of Minorities in the Americas that launched the report entitled, "Right to Education of Afro-Descendent and Indigenous Peoples in the Americas."
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights in partnership with Association NOMADESC, the Cornell Law School International Human Rights Clinic, the University of Valle in Cali, Colombia, the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and the University of Virginia School of Law International Human Rights Clinic convened the two-day conference, which was held in Cali and Bogotá, Colombia in September 2009 to promote a dialogue for improving the right to education of minorities in the Americas. Our goals were to 1) continue an important dialogue among local, national, and international leaders, and 2) remain accountable to local communities by bringing our findings back to the organizations that contributed to the Report. The Report highlights the State's responsibility to fulfill the right to education equally and without discrimination by examining current gaps in meeting this obligation in three specific countries: Colombia, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.
The Outcome Statement provides an overview of the conference and details the important issues that were discussed during the conference sessions on the state of the right to education of minorities in the Americas. Additionally, it presents conference participants' key recommendations for legal and policy reforms to improve the right to education of minorities in the Americas, which are highlighted below.
- States must ensure that educational institutions at all levels be available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable to all, without discrimination and in accordance with all international obligations, and that children are not excluded from education systems for any reason.
- States must ensure that their ministries of education, as well as other pertinent local government agencies, are meeting their national and international obligations with the respect to the fulfillment of the right to education.
- States must protect their diverse multicultural heritages by designing, providing, and implementing curricula in public schools that is bilingual and respectful and inclusive of all cultures in society.
- States should give special protection and assistance to internally displaced persons and other vulnerable populations that are often excluded from the education systems.
- States should sign all treaties relevant to the right to education, including the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
- The relevant bodies within the United Nations and the Organization of American States should take measures to assess state compliance with the right to education, non-discrimination and equality obligations under international law as well as investigate and report on violations of the right to education of minorities in the Americas.
Below, please find the Outcome Statement for your review:
- Outcome Statement: Conference on the Right to Education of Minorities in the Americas
- Declaración de Resultados: Conferencia Sobre El Derecho a la Educación de las Minorías en las Américas
- "Right to Education of Afro-Descendent and Indigenous Peoples in the Americas" Report