Birzeit University Right To Education Campaign
Education Denied


Everyone has the Right to Education
Article 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 7 April 2004

The right to education is a fundamental human right and basic to human freedom. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified by Israel in 1991, underlines the fact that "Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights".

The systematic obstruction and destruction of education in the West Bank and Gaza by the Israeli military occupation not only violates the human rights of individuals, it is an attack on the means and development of Palestinian society as a whole.

The Right to Education is based on the legal and moral authority of a host of international agreements, conventions and declarations relating to education and the protection and freedom of students and children. It is the responsibility of governments, organizations and ordinary people to defend the universal right to education and to demand its realization.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948
Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. (Article 26)

International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), 1966 (ratified by Israel in 1991)
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (Article 13)

United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comments on the Implementation of ICESCR, Right to Education, 1999
Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. (General comment 13, 1)

The right to education can only be enjoyed if accompanied by the academic freedom of staff and students. (General comment 13, 38)

The following remarks give particular attention to institutions of higher education because, in the Committee's experience, staff and students in higher education are especially vulnerable to political and other pressures which undermine academic freedom. (General comment 13, 38)

Members of the academic community, individually or collectively, are free to pursue, develop and transmit knowledge and ideas, through research, teaching, study, discussion, documentation, production, creation or writing. (General comment 13, 39)

Academic freedom includes the liberty of individuals to fulfill their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the State or any other actor. (General comment 13, 39)

Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949
The occupying power shall, with the cooperation of the national and local authorities, facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the care and education of children. (Article 50)

Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989
States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity. (Article 28)