EDUCATION IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT
Education is a fundamental human right: Every girl and boy in every country is entitled to it. Quality education is critical to development both of societies and of individuals, and it helps pave the way to a successful and productive future. When all children have access to a quality education rooted in human rights and gender equality, it creates a ripple effect of opportunity that influences generations to come.
REDUCING INEQUITIES AND DISCRIMINATION
Education ends generational cycles of poverty and disease and provides a foundation for sustainable development. A quality basic education equips girls and boys with the knowledge and skills they need to adopt healthy lifestyles, protect themselves from HIV and take an active role in social, economic and political decision-making as they transition to adolescence and adulthood. Educated adults are more likely to have smaller and healthier families, to be informed about appropriate child-rearing practices and to ensure that their children start school on time and ready to learn.
Education based on human rights also helps to root out some of society’s persistent inequities. These deprive millions of children, particularly girls, of quality education – and therefore subject them to a life of missed opportunities. Ensuring equity in education builds a foundation for equal opportunity, economic growth, employment creation and productivity.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO SURVIVE, DEVELOP AND REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL
UNICEF supports development of national capacities to reduce gender and other disparities and discrimination against children who are out of school. This includes girls; children from poor households or living in rural areas; children belonging to ethnic and linguistic minorities, indigenous groups and castes facing discrimination; and children affected by HIV/AIDS or disabilities.
For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. This interpretation is consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which pledges the fundamental rights of every child.