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Education for All

The building blocks

1948

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is proclaimed by the United Nations. Education is declared a basic right of all people.

1959

The Declaration on the Rights of the Child. Education is declared a right of every child.

1960

The Convention against Discrimination in Education is adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference. It is the first international instrument with binding force in international law which develops the right to education in all its dimensions.

1966

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination proclaims the right of all to education, regardless of race or ethnicity.

1981

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women calls for the elimination of discriminating against women and for equal rights in education.

A teacher gives a math lesson in Suai, Timor-Leste.

A teacher gives a math lesson in Suai, Timor-Leste.

1990

The World Declaration on Education for All is adopted at the World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand. Defined as a bold new direction in education, it declares that "Every person – child, youth and adult – shall be able to benefit from educational opportunities designed to meet their basic learning needs".

1993

The E-9 Education Summit: governments from the world's nine high-population countries pledge to universalize primary education and significantly reduce illiteracy in their respective countries.

1996

The Amman Affirmation adopted at the Mid-decade Meeting of the International Consultative Forum on Education for All, calls for accelerated efforts to meet the goals of Education for All set in 1990.

1996

The report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century promotes a holistic view of education consisting of four “pillars”: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. The text is widely adopted

2000

The Dakar Framework for Action, adopted at the World Education Forum (26-28 April 2000, Dakar, Senegal) commits governments to achieve quality basic education for all by 2015, with a particular emphasis on girls' education, and a pledge from donor countries and institutions that "no country seriously committed to basic education will be thwarted in the achievement of this goal by lack of resources."