The Education Rights of Children

  • Laura Lundy
  • Patricia O’Lynn
Reference work entry
Part of the International Human Rights book series (IHR)


Education rights are an enduring feature of international human rights law. While they are not exclusive to children, they are enjoyed mainly by them. These rights are so multi-faceted that they cannot be captured adequately by the simple term “the right to education.” In this chapter, they are categorized as follows: access to education, the quality and aims of education, human rights education, children’s rights in education, and parents’ rights over education. Each section contains an exploration of the relevant international standards and their implementation in domestic law alongside discussion of some of the most problematic and contested issues in their application. This includes consideration of matters such as discrimination in access to schools, corporal punishment and bullying, parental requests for curriculum exemptions, education about children’s rights, home education, the cost of education, and the freedom to establish private schools. The chapter concludes by recognizing the significant progress that has been made through the global focus on rights-based approaches to education and provides an overview of some of the ongoing challenges that are pertinent to the realization of children’s education rights: the lack of availability of sufficient resources and a continued lack of recognition that children, as well as their parents, are primary rights-holder in this context.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Children’s RightsQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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