The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the right to education: IIMA and VIDES deliver an oral statement at the 44th Session of the Human Rights Council
IIMA and VIDES Human Rights Office is currently participating remotely in the 44th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (30 June – 17 July 2020). An oral statement was delivered through video message on July 3 during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education (Item 3).
In their statement, IIMA and VIDES welcomed the Report of the Special Rapporteur addressing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the right to education (A/HRC/44/39). Indeed, the health crisis has aggravated pre-existing inequalities in education, especially for those children at risk of digital exclusion or with special needs. Despite the best efforts of states and other stakeholders to ensure distance learning through online teaching, radio, or television, these measures cannot fully replace on-site schooling in the long term.
Furthermore, IIMA and VIDES are deeply concerned that, in the most serious cases, school closures have also meant for many children the end of social services and increased exposure to domestic violence.
Thus, IIMA and VIDES recommended that States assess the impact of the closures of educational institutions on different population groups, including an analysis of rising inequalities, and government policies to support the education of disadvantaged groups. Likewise, they called on States to enhance distance learning with effective teachers’ training and improved curriculum as well as to regulate the massive arrival of private actors seeking to commercialize education for profit through digital technology.