International Review of Education

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 229-237

First online:

Les Droits de l'Homme et l'Education

  • Francine BestAffiliated with

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The 21st century will, we hope, be the century of education or, as Jacques Delors put it in his report for UNESCO, the century of "lifelong learning". But this hope will only be realised if education is the subject and aim of a universal right. This right is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which ought to be recognised in all countries of the world as the set of principles that should guide human action. The recognition of these rights should lead to a functioning democracy within educational establishments, where the rules of life should be the same for all: pupils, teachers and administrators. It is no less essential that human rights should constitute guiding principles for educational practice. The United Nations Decade for Human Rights (1995–2004) is an outstanding opportunity for each state to establish a plan of action for a true programme of human rights education.