An official website of the United States government

U.S. EOP on HRC Right to Education Resolution
July 6, 2015

The Right to Education Resolution
EOP by the Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council 29th Session
July 3, 2015

The United States strongly supports the right to education, and this resolution’s focus on it.

The United States is firmly committed to providing equal access to education.  We note that our judicial framework provides robust opportunities for redress, but it is appropriately limited to parties who have suffered harm.  We interpret this resolution’s references to obligations as applicable only to the extent that States have assumed such obligations, and with respect to States Parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in light of its Article 2(1).  The United States is neither a party to that Covenant nor to its Optional Protocol, and the rights contained therein are not justiciable as such in U.S. courts.  We read this resolution to urge States to comply with their applicable international obligations.

As educational matters in the United States are primarily determined at the state and local levels, we understand the resolution’s call on States to strengthen access to quality education in terms consistent with our respective federal, state, and local authorities.

With respect to this resolution’s references to private providers, we underscore the importance of education as a public good, but note also that private providers can offer students a viable educational option.  We support encouraging all providers to deliver education consistent with its importance as a public good, and take very seriously the responsibility of States to intervene in litigation as appropriate.

The United States does not regard the language in this resolution as assigning primacy to any one issue in the priorities or structure of the Post-2015 Development Agenda or in any other way pre-judging the outcome of these ongoing negotiations.

Despite these and other concerns with the resolution, we join consensus on this resolution because we support its focus on the right to education.

The U.S. government has issued a supplementary statement addressing additional common concerns on this and other resolutions.