Right to Education and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on 13 September 2007
The Declaration deals with the rights of indigenous peoples in areas such as self-determination, culture and language, education, health, housing, employment, land and resources, environment and development, intellectual and cultural property, indigenous law and treaties and agreements with governments.
The Right to Education is addressed in the Declaration in Articles 14 & 15:
- Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.
- Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.
- States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effective measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children, including those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.
- Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information.
- States shall take effective measures, in consultation and cooperation with the indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society.
These Articles mean that Indigenous children have the right to the same education as all other children, and that Indigenous peoples also have the right to their own schools and to provide education in their own languages should they choose to do so.
Indigenous children who do not live in indigenous communities should also be able to learn their own culture and language, with all forms of education and public information reflecting the dignity and diversity of indigenous cultures, traditions and aspirations.
For more information on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples please click here.