The Right to Education

4 November-15 December 2015 (E13415) | Closed
: Dr. Angela Melchiorre

This certificate course offered jointly by HREA and the Right to Education Project provides human rights, development and education advocates with concepts, skills, and tools to deepen their knowledge and strategise their work on the right to education. The course will look at the theoretical foundations of the right to education, how to apply them in order to identify stakeholders, obligations and violations, and what strategies may be used to promote and realise the right. The course will apply a human rights advocacy methodology whereby participants learn to work at the level of: substance (being aware of the content and meaning of the right in order to identify violations); structure (identifying duty-bearers and using legal instruments so to encourage accountability); society (identifying actions and behavioural/value changes in order to enhance participation of rights-holders).

Participants will deepen their knowledge by learning about international, regional and national standards related to the right to education; what they mean in practical terms (making education available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable); how they apply to different stakeholders. Participants will also gain skills and knowledge in identifying obligations for states, the international community and non-state actors and in recognising violations of the right to education.

Course structure

This e-learning course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, interaction with students and instructor on discussion boards, quizzes and webinars with invited guests. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: Understanding the right to education (I)
Week 2: Understanding the right to education (II): legal obligations vs. political commitments
Week 3: Identifying obligations (immediate vs. progressive realisation; respect, protect, fulfil; states, international community, non-state actors)
Week 4: Identifying violations (issues: fees, compulsory nature, teachers training; groups: women and girls, minorities, emergencies, extremely poor)
Week 5: Monitoring the right to education (existing monitoring mechanisms; law and policy assessment; budget analysis; indicators)
Week 6: Developing strategies for the realisation of the right to education (judicial review and strategic litigation; lobbying and mobilisation of independent experts and bodies; community-based educational and awareness-raising activities)

About the instructor: Dr. Angela Melchiorre

Angela MelchiorreDr. Angela Melchiorre has been involved in teaching and training since the year 2000. She is currently Lecturer at the University of Padua and consultant for UNICEF and the UN CEDAW Committee. Previously, she was the Programme Director of the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) in Venice, Italy, and Research Coordinator for the Right to Education Project at ActionAid International in London, which she still supports as a member of their Advisory Panel.

Angela also worked as Lecturer in Human Rights at the University of London and as Human Rights Advisor for the Italian Permanent Mission at the UN in Geneva and New York. In her personal capacity she has also been a consultant for UNESCO-IBE and the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, the late Katarina Tomaševski.

Angela’s areas of expertise are children’s rights, the right to education and the UN human rights system. She is the author of At what age… are school-children employed, married and taken to court?, a worldwide comparative analysis of minimum ages under the reporting system of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). As a spin-off from that research, Angela wrote her PhD thesis on the minimum age for marriage and the CRC. Angela has been a course instructor for HREA since 2010. She also instructs the Children’s Rights (Foundation Course).

Who should apply

The course is intended for human rights, development and education advocates who work on the right to education. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA and The Right to Education Project aim to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 435 (after 15 September 2015: US$ 495); tuition for auditors: US$ 165 (US$ 195 after 15 September 2015). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer (additional fee applies) and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

There are a limited number of partial scholarships available for this course through HREA’s Scholarship Fund. Click here to download the scholarship application form.

How to register

Registration is closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.

Testimonials by course participants