New Actors and Modes of Governance in a Globalizing World
Edited by Susan L. Robertson, Karen Mundy, Antoni Verger and Francine Menashy
Chapter 11: Do Public Private Partnerships Fulfil the Right to Education? An Examination of the Role of Non-state Actors in Advancing Equity, Equality and Justice
Maria Ron-Balsera and Akanksha A. Marphatia1 Introduction International human rights treaties and regional conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), all recognize education as a fundamental human right and not just a basic need or social service.2 In practice, education has been reaffirmed as a right in national constitutions and supported by global frameworks, such as the goals that developed in Jomtien and Dakar for Education For All (EFA). These frameworks also highlight the strategic role of education for human, social and economic development.3 If a State has committed to these international agreements and adopted national legislation, then in practice it should ensure education is provided in accordance to the Rights Based Approach (RBA) (Jonsson 2003). These universal declarations recognize the State as the main duty bearer and thus provider of education (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, CESCR GC 13: §48). However, in most countries, education is increasingly offered by multiple providers. These include non-state education providers such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), strictly private initiatives and variations in between such as public private partnerships (PPP). The role of the State in these situations is often ambiguous in practice, though according to the Human Rights framework, governments are obliged to respect, protect and fulfil the right to education, and therefore have the duty to ensure the education offered by different providers (including the state itself)...
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