States Parties recognise for example, that the "development of a system of schools at all levels shall be actively pursued"' Para. The state is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the right to education is upheld regardless of the provider of education. Under international human rights law, states have the obligation to regulate and to monitor private education institutions.
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Privatisation of education is sometimes promoted as a means of filling gaps in the provision of education. However, the ongoing trend of privatisation of education raises serious concerns about its negative impacts on the enjoyment of the right to education, particularly regarding the availability and accessibility of free education, equality of educational opportunities, and education quality.
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Private actors that provide educational services must respect the right to education, and the state must ensure that all private actors that play a role in education provision are accountable. Guidelines have been developed to provide a framework to better define the role of private actors with regards to human rights, including the right to education. In addition, the Human Rights Council has established an open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights , whose mandate shall be to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.
The following case-law relevant to privatisation of education and the regulation of private providers of education includes decisions of national, regional and international courts as well as decisions from national administrative bodies, national human rights institutions and international human rights bodies.
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Since , various education stakeholders have been working together to develop guiding principles that would compile together existing customary and conventional human rights law as it relates to private actors in education. These guiding principles are tentatively called 'Human rights guiding principles on states' obligation regarding private schools.
The development of the Guiding Principles is coordinated by a Secretariat who synthesises the inputs and feedback from various consultations. These five people are coordinating the process for the development of the Guiding Principles.
The Secretariat supports the independent Expert Group, composed of recognised experts acting in their personal capacity, who will discuss, input into, and validate successive drafts of the Guiding Principles. As part of a broad consultative process to develop the guiding principles, various regional and thematic consultations are being convened over the course of and with a range of stakeholders, including: civil society organisations, state representatives, human rights organisations and experts in the fields of education and law, academics, international and regional organisations and other actors.
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Skip to main content. The privatisation of education is a growing and complex issue. Private actors have the liberty to establish and direct schools. States have the principal responsibility of providing education. States must regulate and monitor private schools.
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