Refugee Education: A Global Review


Dryden-Peterson, Sarah. 2011. Refugee Education: A Global Review. UNHCR - Refugee Education: A Global Review. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 95. Copy at


The provision of educational opportunities is one of the highest priorities of refugee communities. Refugee mothers, fathers, and children the world over emphasise that education is “the key to the future,” that it will help bring peace to their countries, that despite not knowing “what will happen tomorrow,” education brings stability and hope. Access to education is a basic human right and is linked to poverty reduction, holding promises of stability, economic growth, and better lives for children, families, and communities. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognised compulsory primary education as a universal entitlement. The 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (United Nations, 1979) called for no discrimination in educational provision for men and women, and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) affirmed the right of all children, regardless of status, to free and compulsory primary education, to available and accessible secondary education, and to higher education on the basis of capacity (United Nations, 1989, Article 28). The right to education for refugees is articulated in Article 22 of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, resolution 64/290 (July 2010) of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations General Assembly on the right to education in emergencies (United Nations, 2010a), and in the draft resolution to the Human Rights Council on the right to education for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers (June 2011) (United Nations, 2010b).

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Last updated on 03/14/2015