Human Rights Council Thirty-second session

Agenda item 3

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 1 July 2016

32/20. Realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by

every girl

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and all other relevant international

human rights instruments,

Recalling all relevant Human Rights Council resolutions, in particular resolution

27/6 of 25 September 2014,

Recalling also the United Nations Millennium Declaration, in which Member States

resolved to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, would be able

to complete a full course of primary schooling, and that girls and boys would have equal

access to all levels of education, in accordance with the Education for All agenda and

education-related Millennium Development Goals, and welcoming the adoption by the

General Assembly of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,1 including its Goal 4

on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning

opportunities for all,

Recalling further the need to ensure that all girls and boys have equal access to

quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready

for primary education, the need to eliminate gender disparities in education by 2030, and

the need to build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender

sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive, accessible and effective learning

environments for all,

Welcoming the World Education Forum 2015, organized by the United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in collaboration with the United Nations

1 General Assembly resolution 70/1.

Children’s Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations

Development Programme, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the

Empowerment of Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for

Refugees, held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 19 to 22 May 2015, and the declaration

“Education 2030: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning

for all”, adopted at the Forum,

Noting with appreciation the work carried out by all relevant organs, bodies and

mechanisms of the United Nations system within their respective mandates, in particular

the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and

Cultural Organization, and the efforts of organizations and civil society to promote girls’

enjoyment of the right to education,

Deeply concerned that, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and

Cultural Organization, none of the Education for All goals had been achieved globally by

2015, despite the advances that had been achieved over the past decade,

Deeply concerned also that, despite progress in recent years, many girls, including

girls with disabilities and those belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minority

groups, continue to suffer severe discrimination and exclusion in education systems

throughout their lives, and that almost one third of all countries have not achieved parity in

primary education,

Deeply concerned further that humanitarian crises and armed conflicts are depriving

children, especially girls, of access to education,

Strongly condemning attacks on and the abduction of girls because they attend or

wish to attend school, deploring all attacks, including terrorist attacks, on educational

institutions as such, their students and staff, and recognizing the negative impact that such

attacks have on the progressive realization of the right to education, in particular of girls,

Reaffirming the equal right of every child to education without discrimination of any

kind, and noting the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination often faced by girls,

Deeply concerned that girls’ access to education continues to be impaired by social

and cultural stereotypes, violence against girls and the targeting of schools by violent

extremist movements and terrorist groups,

Determined to continue to make the progressive realization of the right to education

a reality for every girl,

Recognizing that education is a multiplier right that empowers women and girls to

make choices to claim their human rights, including the right to participate in public affairs,

and to participate fully in the making of decisions that shape society,

1. Welcomes the convening, at its twenty-ninth session, of a panel discussion on

realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl with a view to sharing

lessons learned and best practices, and the summary report of the discussion prepared by

the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;2

2. Urges all States to strengthen and intensify their efforts to realize

progressively the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, such as by taking

the necessary and appropriate measures:

(a) To eliminate discrimination against girls in education and to remove all

obstacles that hinder the right to education of every girl, including discriminatory laws and

2 A/HRC/30/23.

policies, customs, traditions or religious considerations, financial barriers,

violence, including sexual violence in the school environment, the worst forms of child

labour, and harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation, gender stereotypes, child

early and forced marriage and early pregnancy;

(b) To ensure that educational institutions are safe and free of violence and


(c) To address the rate of dropout from school among girls and help to ensure

that every girl completes a full course of high-quality primary and secondary education and

training and has equal access to all levels of education with the proper support and

reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements and without discrimination of

any kind;

(d) To make a place available for every girl in a primary and secondary school

within a reasonable distance of her home;

(e) To take steps so that every girl, regardless of her circumstances, can travel to

and from and attend school in an inclusive, accessible, safe and secure environment,

including by providing security services and adopting policies designated to eliminate all

forms of school violence and facilitating safe and secure school transportation services,

when necessary and as appropriate;

(f) To provide equal access to education for girls from marginalized or excluded

groups, girls with disabilities, indigenous girls, girls who are members of ethnic, religious

or linguistic minorities and girls living in rural areas;

(g) To provide adequate support for disadvantaged girls and their families to

ensure access to schools and to prevent girls from being removed from schools for

economic reasons;

(h) To provide every primary and secondary school with professionally trained

and qualified teachers, including female teachers, capable of providing effective

individualized support in an environment that is child friendly and that maximizes

academic and social development consistent with the goal of full inclusion, and to develop

an overall non-discriminatory, inclusive, accessible and culturally sensitive, safe,

supportive and secure environment conducive to providing a quality education, including

human rights education, to every girl, to allow the fullest development of her abilities and

enable her to be a proactive actor in society;

(i) To provide every primary and secondary school with full access to separate,

adequate and safe water and sanitation services, properly equipped with hygiene kits, that

contribute to the enrolment and retention of girls in schools, and to protect girls from being

physically threatened or assaulted while using sanitation facilities;

(j) To ensure that every girl who completes primary and secondary education

has the basic skills to participate effectively in society, including financial literacy;

(k) To eliminate gender-based stereotypes from all educational processes,

practices and teaching materials, and to raise awareness with regard to the importance of

the progressive realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl;

(l) To prioritize education in State budgets, to build education systems, and to

develop laws and policies founded on the principles of equality and the rights of the child;

(m) To support access to education for girls in emergency situations, migrant,

internally displaced and refugee girls and those in humanitarian crises, including in armed-

conflict and post-armed-conflict situations;

3. Encourages States to increase investments and international cooperation to

allow all girls to complete free, equitable, inclusive and quality early childhood, primary

and secondary education, including by scaling-up and strengthening initiatives, such as the

Global Partnership for Education, and to explore additional innovative mechanisms based

on models combining public and private resources, while ensuring that all education

providers give due respect to the right to education;

4. Encourages international cooperation to complement the efforts of States in

matters relating to education, in particular with a view to eliminating discrimination in

education, and supports the efforts of the United Nations system in this regard;

5. Urges States to support the efforts of developing countries, in particular least

developed countries, to realize progressively the right to education, including the

progressive realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl

through appropriate resources, including financial and technical resources, in support of

country-led national education plans;

6. Reaffirms the importance of enhancing the dialogue between the United

Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

Organization, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and other partners that

pursue the goals of girls’ education, with a view to integrating further the right to education

of girls into the operational activities of the United Nations system;

7. Encourages the High Commissioner and the relevant special procedure

mandate holders to give the required attention to realizing the equal enjoyment of the right

to education by every girl in carrying out their mandates and in their reporting, and to work

collectively towards its realization through practical and efficient steps;

8. Requests the High Commissioner, in close cooperation with all relevant

stakeholders, including States, the United Nations Children’s Fund, other relevant United

Nations bodies and agencies, relevant special procedure mandate holders, regional

organizations and human rights bodies, national human rights institutions and civil society,

including children themselves, to prepare a report on the realization of the equal enjoyment

of the right to education by every girl, and on the obstacles limiting the effective access of

girls to education, and to make recommendations on appropriate measures to eliminate

gender disparities in education by 2030, taking into account Goal 4 of the Sustainable

Development Goals, and to submit the report to the Council for its consideration at its

thirty-fifth session;

9. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

44th meeting

1 July 2016

[Adopted without a vote.]