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History and Nature of the Right to Education

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Chapter Summary

This chapter makes some introductory remarks on the right to education. First, an attempt is made to define the term "education". This is followed by a short overview of the historical development of the right to education. This concerns developments prior to the proclamation of human rights, including the right to education, at the international level in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. A few comments on the philosophical basis of the right to education are then made. Next the issue is considered whether it is compatible with the nature of the right to education as a human right to make primary education compulsory as required by international human rights law. The final aspect to be dealt with is the question whether the right to education forms part of customary law.

Keywords: customary law; international human rights law; right to education



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