UN Human Rights Reports

Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education:
Reports on issues related to privatisation

The impact of the digitalisation of education on the right to education.

Published June 2022

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education addresses the risks and opportunities of the digitalisation of education and their impact on the right to education. This report calls for discussions relating to the introduction of digital technologies in education to be framed around the right of every person to free, quality, public education and the commitments of States in this regard under both international human rights law and Sustainable Development Goal 4. It advises that the digitalisation of education should be geared toward a better implementation of the right to education for all and that it is important to understand the profit-driven agenda of digital technology lobbyists and companies. It also states that the digitalisation of education should not increase inequalities and benefit already privileged segments of society only or lead to violations of other human rights, including the right to privacy.


The impact of the coronavirus disease crisis on the right to education: concerns, challenges and opportunities. 

Published July 2020

The UN Special Rapporteur recommends a thorough analysis of rising inequalities due to the measures adopted to face the pandemic; an investigation into the sustainability of economic and financial models behind education systems, including the consequences of poorly funding public educational institutions; scrutiny of the role of private actors in education; and an evaluation of the adequacy of social protection provided for education workers, including in the private sector.


The implementation of the right to education and Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the context of the growth of private actors in education. 

Published September 2017

In this report the Special Rapporteur examines the implementation of the right to education amidst the rapid growth of private actors in education. She acknowledges that depending on the nature and aims of private actors, private actors can contribute to the realization of the right to education. However, underfunding of public education and unregulated growth of private, particularly commercial actors can threaten the right to education and SDG4. She draws on the Abidjan Principles as part of her observations and recommendations on the obligation of States to fund and provide education. This report provides recommendations for the regulation of private actors, public-private partnerships, donors and civil society.


Issues and challenges to the right to education in the digital age. 

Published April 2016

This report addresses issues and challenges of technology in education, focusing on higher education. The Special Rapporteur recommends a framework of prescriptive regulations, prohibitive regulations and punitive regulations to ensure the protection and safeguarding of the right to education and a rights-based approach to digital technology.


Public-private partnerships and the right to education. 

Published August 2015

The Special Rapporteur examines public-private partnerships in education, which are linked to expanding privatisation. He offers recommendations for regulatory frameworks and implementation strategies for PPPs in education that maintain the State’s obligation to protect the right to education and  safeguard education as a public good.


Protecting the right to education against commercialisation. 

Published June 2015

The Special Rapporteur looks at the rapid expansion of private education providers and commercialisation of education, examining the impacts of this trend on norms and principles on the right to education. He highlights the repercussions of privatisation on social justice and equity and recommends regulatory frameworks to control private providers of educations