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UAE envoy addresses Human Rights Council on education

posted on 04/06/2009: 675 views

Geneva - The Human Rights Council this morning opened its eleventh session by adopting its agenda and holding an interactive dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, and the Special Rapporteur on the right to education.

Vernor Munoz, Special Rapporteur on the right to education, said his report focused on the right to education for persons in detention, a group that was subjected to general discrimination and to discrimination in educational matters in particular. In addition to consultations with Government and civil society organizations, it was especially important for the elaboration of the report to hear the voices of the detainees. The responses obtained were numerous, useful and confirmed the necessity that the relevant authorities took into account the needs of the persons deprived of freedoms while outlining the pedagogical strategies for them. This report showed the urgent need to redouble efforts to respect, protect and make available the right to education for detainees. Human dignity, the undeniable basis of human rights, implied the respect for the person, his current situation and in his potential. Given this, it was necessary that the penitentiary systems guaranteed access to formal and informal education.

Speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, H.E Obeid Salim Al Za'abi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the UN European Headquarters in Geneva, said the Arab Group shared the opinion of the Special Rapporteur that imprisonment should not in any way interfere with the basic right of education.

"One of the basic objectives of the penal system was to reinsert the persons into society after having served their time. There was a close link between illiteracy and crime or the return to crime. The policies of Governments in that regard had great importance,” he added.

"The Arab Group concurred with the Special Rapporteur that the lack of such education could not be justified with lack of resources by Governments; such resources as well as technical knowledge had to be allocated by Governments. The Arab Group was ready to be guided by the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur to enforce the right of education in prisons. The Arab Group would like to hear more about the Special Rapporteur's opinion on Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons and their right to education,” he explained. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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