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The Right to Education Campaign is a grassroots Palestinian movement that seeks to document, research and raise awareness about the issues facing Palestinian students, teachers and academic institutions under Israeli military occupation. Demanding unimpeded access for all Palestinians to their academic institutions, the Right to Education Campaign opposes Israel’s illegal occupation and attacks on Palestinian educational rights. The campaign also seeks to build an international movement in support of Palestinian students, teachers and educational institutions.
The campaign is based at Birzeit University in Birzeit, with affiliated groups at An Najah National University in Nablus, Hebron University in Hebron and Al Quds University in Abu Dis. These branches of the campaign collaborate on major projects and work on issues particular to each university. Currently, the four branches are working to establish roots in other universities both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The right to education is a basic human right and fundamental to human freedom. The United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘everyone has the right to education’ (Article 26, 1948). The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified by Israel in 1991, states that ‘Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights’. However the Israeli military systematically obstructs education in the West Bank and Gaza, which violates the human rights of individuals and also impedes the development of Palestinian society. (For more information about this, see Education Under Occupation.)
To read more about the Campaign’s history please visit History of the Campaign.
The beginning of the second decade of the 21st century has seen an increase in support from international civil society in response to recent atrocities committed by the state of Israel. After some 66 years since the Nakba and 47 since the start of the military occupation of what remained of Palestinian land in 1967, Palestinians now stand at a threshold, possessing the potential fundamentally to alter the dynamics of the current political circumstances they face. The Right to Education Campaign is a pillar in the continued struggle for recognition of basic rights and dignity for Palestinian students and academics.
In the future, the campaign will continue to work toward overcoming the isolation of Palestinian academic institutions by bringing students and staff together for the benefit of themselves and their communities. It will continue to empower students through various capacity-building projects that encourage them to advocate for and fully exercise their right to education. It will continue to demand that the world’s governments and international civil society take action to end the Israeli occupation and to defend the human rights of students in the West Bank and Gaza in their pursuit of education. Lastly, the campaign will continue to look inward to demand of Palestinian organizations that resources be managed openly, fairly, and with the best interests of all students and staff of Palestinian universities in mind.
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