Geneva, June-July 2022
The 50th session of the Human Rights Council took place in Geneva from June 13 to July 8. As in the previous councils, the sessions were held in a hybrid format, although this time most participation occurred face-to-face. Once again, OIDEL intervened with several oral statements and attended meetings or side events, while resuming contacts that had been put on hold during the pandemic.
All of OIDEL’s interventions are summarized below:
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, June 23
The Special Rapporteur on the right to education dedicated the last report before the end of her mandate to the Impact of the digitalization of education on the right to education, addressing the risks and opportunities digitalization brings with it. Ms. Boly Barry repeatedly called for “discussions (…) to be framed around the right of every person to free, quality, public education”.
OIDEL responded with an oral statement in which, after thanking the Rapporteur for addressing such an important issue from a human rights perspective, it expressed its concern about the use of the term “right to public education”. Such an expression could be used by some governments to impede educational diversity and confuse the international community about the essential content of this right. Nine NGOs co-signed this statement.
This year, no Resolution on the Right to Education was presented. The promoters of this Resolution, the Permanent Mission of Portugal, already indicated last year that such resolutions will only be held every two years.
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, June 17
The report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association outlined the challenges that hinder civil society’s access to the financial resources necessary to carry out its work. The report made brief references to educational actors and activities.
In its oral statement, OIDEL recalled the close relationship between freedom of association and freedom of education and highlighted the 2018 European Parliament resolution on the modernization of education as a good practice of the exercise of freedom. Paragraph 76 of that resolution encourages (…) the provision of adequate financial support for schools of all categories and levels, both state schools and not-for-profit private schools (…).
OIDEL also actively participated in several informal negotiations that discussed the draft resolution on the rights to peaceful assembly and association. We are pleased that the freedom of free and peaceful association is included in this document as essential for the development of educational activities. This resolution was approved by the Human Rights Council by consensus.
Panel on good governance in protecting human rights during and after COVID-19 Pandemic, 22 June
On June 22, the Human Rights Council held a panel to identify good practices for the efficient use of technologies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, Josyane Zingg, on behalf of OIDEL, highlighted the crucial role of non-state actors such as parents, families, and civil society organizations in the realization of the right to education. She further pointed out that these intermediate actors cannot be evoked only in times of crisis, but must be considered as cornerstones of the realization of the right to education always, also in the future.
Support for Greek-Catholic schools in Ukraine
OIDEL provided logistical support to OIEC and the Educational Commission of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church so that, together with Liliya Kuzmiak, they could expound on the situation of education and of these schools in Ukraine during this period of war.
Side event: A humanist approach to digitization on the right to education, June 24th
On June 24, Norrag organized a side event organized to deepen the content of the report on digitization of the current Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Koumbou Boly Barry.
Ignasi Grau, OIDEL director of OIDEL, spoke on the importance of civil society for digitization in education to become an ally to ensure the humanistic approach to the right to education.