New landmark Abidjan Principles on the right to education and private actors adopted by experts


Human rights experts from around the world have recently adopted the Abidjan Principles on the right to education. Nine internationally renowned experts, including Prof Sandra Fredman, Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub and part of our AfOx researcher community, have drafted the Abidjan Principles.

Following three years of consultations, the Abidjan Principles will be the new reference point for governments, educators and education providers when debating the respective roles and duties of state and private actors in education.

The Abidjan Principles outline practical guidelines to help government set rules and regulations to ensure that everyone has the right to access free quality public education. From 2016 to 2019, a series of national, regional, thematic and online consultations were held to ensure that the resulting text address the different realities on the ground.

The Abidjan Principles emerged out of a need to respond to the rapid growth of various forms of private involvement in education in the last 20 years, which, if left unchecked, could gravely impair the progress made in the realisation of the right to education. UN and other regional human rights bodies , UN Special Rapporteurs, courts, and other human rights institutions have increasingly addressed the issue in the last years. This has led to the development of a myriad of legal sources, which needed to be compiled in a single text to clarify the applicable legal standards. This is what the Abidjan Principles intend to do.

A drafting committee of nine internationally renowned experts, including Prof Fredman, drafted the Abidjan Principles. A further 20 experts were present in Abidjan to review and adopted the text. The final text of the Abidjan Principles will be available after copy-editing around mid-March. For more information, visit the Abidjan Principles website here.