By Yasmine Sherif
NEW YORK, Dec 10 2022 (IPS-Partners)
As we commemorate Human Rights Day, let us recall the opening preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world… “
I dare to categorically state that the very first step to achieve this aspiration is to empower every child and adolescent to access an inclusive quality education. We have a special responsibility to do so for the 222 million children and youth already left furthest behind in armed conflicts, forced displacement and climate-induced disasters. In failing to provide them with access to an education, we are failing to empower them to claim, exercise, promote and protect human rights – both for themselves and for others, for their nations and for our world.
Our investment in the education and #222MillionDreams of these crisis-affected children and youth is our investment in human rights and the inextricably linked Sustainable Development Goals. Education is our investment in human dignity, freedom, justice and peace.
With today marking the kick off of a year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we must hold true to the imperatives enshrined in the Declaration and the tenant that “Everyone has the right to an education,” and that “education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
As the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, it is Education Cannot Wait’s firm conviction that education is essential in achieving, protecting and promoting universal human rights.
Join us in ensuring the inherent human right to a safe, inclusive, quality education at next year’s ECW High-Level Financing Conference taking place in Geneva on 16-17 February 2023. This ground-breaking conference – hosted by ECW and Switzerland, and co-convened with Colombia, Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan – offers world leaders the chance to recognize the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of dignity, freedom, justice and peace in the world as put forth in 1948 with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today 222 million children and adolescents are enduring armed conflicts, climate disasters and forced displacement. In the 21st Century, we urge governments, private sector, foundations and high-net-worth individuals to empower them with an education to experience and protect their human rights. They deserve no less.
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on Human Rights Day