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Country research and advocacy on the impact of privatisation in education

The GI-ESCR is currently conducting with its partners multi-country research and advocacy on the impact of privatisation in education on the right to education in 11 countries. The research critically examines the global development of privatisation in the light of human rights standards. This pages reviews the work done at country level. For more information about other areas of our work on privatisation, see We also have a specific page for the work on Morocco, and in French:

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  • Update on Liberia: Liberia is currently going through an unprecedented outsourcing of its education system. To find out more, follow our regularly updated page here:
  • A summary of the outcomes of the work: The GI-ESCR has published a synthesis paper summing up the statements of UN human rights expert bodies on the role of private actors in education and human rights:



Context and history of the research

The GI-ESCR in partnership with partners undertook a research and advocacy project on the topic of privatisation in education and its impact on the right to education in Morocco. The project involved field research and preparation and presentation of Parallel NGO Reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) for its review of Morocco in September 2014.

Following the advocacy conducted with the CRC and with other right to education experts engaged in human rights procedures in Geneva in the context of this work on Morocco, there has been a growing awareness and interest in the topic. In particular, the secretariat and members of UN human rights treaty bodies are showing increasing interest in knowing more about the links between privatisation in education and the right to education. In the meantime, organisations such as the Global Campaign for Education, the Privatisation in Education Research Initiative, and regional and national education coalitions have been conducting research and advocacy projects on privatisation, creating a solid body of research and advocacy material.

Building on this, the GI-ESCR has engaged in conducting advocacy on privatisation in education and human rights. From 11th to 14th June 2014, the GI-ESCR organised with partners a workshop to plan future advocacy on privatisation using the human rights framework. As part of this event, the GI-ESCR also organised a side-event at the Human Rights Council on 12th June 2014 (see also the Right to Education’s summary).

The current work

Following this event, the GI-ESCR has started working with a number of partners since August 2014 on a multi-country research and advocacy project,. This project builds on the work conducted in Morocco so as to reproduce it in additional countries. The project is coordinated by PERI, and is run in collaboration with the Right to Education Project, and a number of national partners. It involves to produce research, UN parallel reports, and advocacy, in the following 11 countries, which cover a range of issues and geographical locations:

In each country, we produce with our partners parallel reports to relevant UN or regional human rights bodies. The aim is double: 1/ to do research, mobilisation and advocacy to raise awareness about the impact of privatisation in education at the national level, and 2/ to develop a set of standards and jurisprudence at the international level to clarify States’ obligations with regards to privatisation in education. The Right to Education Project will work in particular on developing international standards, and produce a methodology to support organisations to conduct research and advocacy on privatisation in education, based on the experience accumulated during the project.

We also work closely with a number of other partners, including the Global Campaign for Education, Education International, regional education coalitions, and various other partners working on the impact in terms of social justice of privatisation in education. Another key aim of the project is to build a dynamic network of organisation working on the privatisation, and it is open to everyone. If you’re interested and you’d like to join the group of organisations, or if you’d like to have more information, please email

See also more information about other areas of our work on privatisation:

News updates

Summary factsheets on privatisation and human rights by country

Overview of the work at country level

  • Produced a report for a CEDAW consultation on girls’ right to education.
  • Joint CSO statement on a report of the African Development Bank and Others promoting privatisation in education in Africa.
  • Brazilian Campaign for the Right to Education and Ação Educativa produced a report to the pre-session of the CRC.
  • The CESCR released a list of issues addressing privatisation in education in Chile.
  • The CRC released a list of issues addressing privatisation in education in Chile.
  • Produced a first report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
  • Produced a report to the CEDAW.
  • Held a workshop with 20 partners in the country in October 2014.
  • The CRC formally asked the Ghanaian Government to explain itself on the growing privatisation in education in the country and the effect it has on the realisation of the right to education for all.
  • The CEDAW expressed concerns about privatisation in education in Ghana.
  • The CRC expressed concern about privatisation in education and asked Ghana to “assess and address” the phenomenon.
  • Report developed with Sciences Po Human Rights Clinic submitted to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism in April 2016.
  • In January 2016, the CRC made two ground-breaking statements for Haiti: firstly, States should regulate private schools to ensure they do not engage in for-profit education, and second, that PPPs should not entail any form of commercialization of education.
  • Report to the CRC, in April 2015, adapted for the CESCR in September 2015
  • Summary of the reports to the UN Committees
  • A report for the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) in September 2015
  • Summary of the ACHPR report


  • Held a workshop with 15 partners in October 2014.
  • Held a follow-up workshop with 15 partners in August 2015.
  •  CESCR raised concerns about the situation in Kenya in its list of issues, in particular how Kenya “has regulated and monitored informal private schools (or low-cost private schools) to ensure quality education.” (November 2015)
  • Press release on the CESCR list of issues and the questions raised by the ACHPR during the oral review of Kenya that took place in November 2016 (November 2016)
  • Concluding Observations where the CESCR (March 2016) recognises that “the proliferation of so-called ‘low-cost private schools’ […] has led to segregation or discriminatory access” and recommend, amongst other things, that Kenya “bring the Registration Guidelines for Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training in line with Articles 13 and 14 of the Covenant and other relevant international standards; that it ensure that all schools, public, private, formal or non-formal, are registered; and that it monitor their compliance with the guidelines.”
  • Press release on the CESCR concluding observations (March 2016)
  • CRC concluding observations, expressed concerns about the “low quality of education and rapid increase of private and informal schools, including those funded by foreign development aids, providing sub-standard education and deepening inequalities” and recommended to “prioritize free primary quality education at public schools over private schools and informal low cost schools and regulate and monitor the quality of education provided by private informal schools in line with the Convention”.
  • Joint press release on the CRC Concluding Observations (February 2016)
  • Submitted a report to the Universal Periodic Review, available here
  • Submitted a parallel report to the CRC in April 2016
  •  The CRC recommended that the State ensures that private providers of education do not undermine social cohesion or exacerbate segregation and discrimination.
  • Report submitted to the CRC (April 2016)
  •  The CRC recommended that the State prevent privatization of schools and establish mechanisms to monitor the compliance of private schools with minimum educational standards, curriculum requirements and qualification for teachers
  • Report led by the Philippines Education Network (E-Net Philippines) submitted to CESCR.
  • The CESCR called on the State to strengthen its public education system and  recommended  that it prevent the privatisation of schools and establish mechanisms to monitor the compliance of private schools with minimum educational standards, curriculum requirements and qualifications for teachers.
  • Report to the CESCR.
  • Report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  • First workshop held in August 2014.
  • The CESCR raised issues on the impact of privatization in education on the realisation of the right to education in Uganda.
  • The CESCR urged Uganda to assume primary responsibility for the provision of quality education for all children instead of privatizing schools
  • The African Commission expressed concern that the increasing prevalence of private schools could result in discrimination against children from low income households.
United Kingdom
  • CRC criticised the UK’s support for private education in developing countries
  • CESCR challenges the UK’s use of development aid to support low-cost private schools in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, India and Pakistan.

For the work on Morocco, see the dedicated page:


March 2015: The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural rights, the Sciences Po Paris Human Rights Clinic, and the Right to Education Project organised a public conference in Paris on 18th March 2015 on privatisation in education (in French). More information here:


Key documents and outputs

General reports
Parallel reports
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