Recognizing Early Childhood Education as a Human Right in International Law

28 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Sandra Fredman

Sandra Fredman

University of Oxford Faculty of Law; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Georgina Donati

University of Oxford - Department of Psychiatry

Linda Richter

University of Witwatersrand - DSI-NRF Center of Excellence in Human Development

Sara Naiker

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jere R. Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Chunling Lu

Harvard University - Department of Global Health and Social Medicine

Caroline Cohrssen

The University of Hong Kong

Florencia López Bóo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford; IZA

Chemba Raghavan

UNICEF

Amanda Devercelli

The World Bank

S. Jody Heymann

UCLA - WORLD Policy Analysis Center

Alan Stein

University of Oxford - Department of Psychiatry

Date Written: July 16, 2021

Abstract

Despite clear evidence that early learning opportunities shape long-term development and health, early childhood education has been largely overlooked. The right to education, enshrined in three legally binding treaties ratified by almost all States, does not expressly refer to early childhood education but does assert that the right to education should be directed to the full development of the child. 264 reports by UN monitoring bodies for the three treaties from 152 countries from 2015-2020 were systematically analysed to assess whether and how international law interprets the right to early childhood education. All three international treaties require States to fulfil a clear set of obligations: to provide affordable, accessible, quality early childhood care and education with adequate financial, technical and human resources which is inclusive and non-discriminatory. Systematising and aligning these obligations will improve States’ accountability and guide them in the delivery of early learning opportunities.

Suggested Citation

Fredman, Sandra and Donati, Georgina and Richter, Linda and Naiker, Sara and Behrman, Jere R. and Lu, Chunling and Cohrssen, Caroline and López Bóo, Florencia and Raghavan, Chemba and Devercelli, Amanda and Heymann, S. Jody and Stein, Alan, Recognizing Early Childhood Education as a Human Right in International Law (July 16, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3964160 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3964160

Sandra Fredman

University of Oxford Faculty of Law ( email )

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Georgina Donati (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of Psychiatry ( email )

Warneford Hospital
Warneford Ln
Oxford, OX3 7JX
United Kingdom

Linda Richter

University of Witwatersrand - DSI-NRF Center of Excellence in Human Development ( email )

Sara Naiker

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jere R. Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Chunling Lu

Harvard University - Department of Global Health and Social Medicine

Boston, MA
United States

Caroline Cohrssen

The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Hong Kong

Florencia López Bóo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford ( email )

Queen Elizabeth House
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Chemba Raghavan

UNICEF ( email )

New York
Haiti

Amanda Devercelli

The World Bank ( email )

1818 H St NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

S. Jody Heymann

UCLA - WORLD Policy Analysis Center ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Alan Stein

University of Oxford - Department of Psychiatry ( email )

Warneford Hospital
Warneford Ln
Oxford, OX3 7JX
United Kingdom

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