PCE has submitted a shadow research report (click here) in collaboration with the Global Initiative for Economic Social and Cultural Rights along with its regional partners such as ASPBAE and national partners on the issue of rapid privatization and its negative impact on the human rights. The shadow report is to be presented in the 72nd session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in which Pakistan is being reviewed on 25th and 26th May in Geneva.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of 18 Independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties. The government of Pakistan submitted its 5th report on 16th October 2015. The committee also accepts the reports on the human rights status from independent sources including the NGOs and coalitions. PCE’s report, “Privatized Education in Pakistan and the Right to Education: A Right out of reach?” focuses upon the negative impacts of the state sponsored unfettered privatization of public schools. Some of the privatization schemes are a part of massive donor-funded (UK DFID, USAID, World Bank) PPP schemes and the Low fee private schools which take away a necessity as basic as education out of the reach of a common man. The rapid privatization has led to segregation in the society among the different socio economic groups as well as the gendered discrimination in terms of access to education. The negative impacts are largely due to weak governance mechanisms to regulate the growth of the low fee private schools as well as the donor backing of PPP schemes which hand public schools to private education entrepreneurs for management in an attempt to uplift the flailing condition of the public schools.

For the 72nd session, the countries such as the U.K., Bulgaria, Gabon, Nepal, Pakistan, Slovakia, and Samoa are under review. For the UK review, the country’s massive aid funding pushing for privatization is developing countries were put into question. It is to be noted that Pakistan receives around £700 million for education from UK each year out of which a sizeable portion is spent to promote PPP schemes in Sindh and Punjab and also the Low Fee Private Schools (LFPS). The representatives of GI-escr and PCE briefly apprised the committee members about the role of UK aid in furthering disparities in education in developing countries including Pakistan. This was done in a briefing prior to the review of UK state party report.

It was a good start to the week-long lobbying efforts to highlight the issue to the committee about the human rights implications of this policy in various countries including Pakistan.

The Pakistan State Party is being reviewed on the 25th and 26th May and the live webcast of the entire session can be accessed here.

 

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