The South African Human Rights Commission recently published a Charter of Children's Basic Education Rights. Researched, written consultatively, and developed for publication by Patricia Martin of Advocacy Aid, the Charter provides a statement of what is required of the state in terms of international, regional and national law to give effect to the right of children in South Africa to basic education.
The statement of obligations has been organised within the internationally accepted 4A framework, which requires that the education system ensure that education is Available, Accessible, Acceptable, and Adaptable for all children. The Charter not only provides a statement of the state's obligations to children under each of these headings, but also draws on international, regional and national law to craft a set of corresponding rights (documented as indicators) which, once met, will mark compliance with the relevant obligations.
As such, the Charter provides a framework for planning, monitoring and education of parents, children and educators, of their substance of the rights making up the right to basic education for children in South Africa.
The Charter provides an overview of the status of compliance with the relevant obligations as at 2012, and documents a number of recommendations for further action to improve compliance in moving forward.
The Charter will provide a framework for the SAHRC to assess compliance on an annual basis, but also a framework for collective advocacy and awareness-raising by all interested stakeholders to move South Africa closer to the full realisation of the right of children to basic education.