COVID-19: Guides on the education and protection of children and adolescents

April 9, 2020

At this time of crisis, the National Campaign for the Right to Education (CNDE), a member of CLADE in Brazil, in alliance with the Cada Criança platform, has made available two guides aimed at families, schools, local social security agents and authorities so that they can guarantee the protection and education of children and adolescents.

“The goal is to offer verified and accessible information on how citizens linked to education can act, demand and work for the protection of all and in a collaborative way and also, by public authorities, guarantee the rights of girls and boys and adolescents in emergency situations” says CNDE.

Read below a summary of the guides in English or download here the complete document in Portuguese aimed at families and education professionals, and the guide for authorities here.

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A mural on #TheEducationWeNeed painted in Mexican school

March 10, 2020
Estudiantes de la Escuela Preparatoria Prefeco Melchor Ocampo durante la elaboración del mural.

As part of the regional campaign #TheEducationWeNeed for the world we want, carried out from Oct. 2019 to Mar. 2020, students, artists and teachers joined at the Preparatory School Profesor Melchor Ocampo, located at the city of Morelia, in the State of Michoacán, Mexico, to paint a mural in which they present the expectations and opinions of adolescents and youths on the right to education. 

The mural was conceived during a conversation with Michoacanian artists Bethel Cucue and Alain Silva, from Cherán community. In the final version of the mural, it not only shows the participation of the students and their dialogues on their right to education, but also their ideas, emotions, dreams and concerns, as well as the particular identity of each of them.

To find out more about this action, the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) talked to the school’s cultural coordinator, Paulina Mojica, and two of the students who took part in this activity: 17-year-old Brandon Vargas and 16-year-old Yafeth Ulises Soto.

“We tried to register in a mural our ideas on the #LaEducaciónQueNecesitamos para el mundo que queremos campaign slogan and by that to inspire more students to keep growing personally and professionally”, affirmed Yafeth.

Read the full interview below:

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Inspired by his experience of CLADE’s initiative, young man starts campaign in Bolivia

March 9, 2020

“The campaign #TheEducationWeNeed had the positive change of encouraging us students to insist in being heard all the time, and even more when it is much more strongly needed and much more important, because education is power”, affirmed Gabriel Villarpando, a final year Law student and a member of the Bolivian Campaign for the Right to Education (CBDE), at the region of Tarija, Bolivia. 

Gabriel Villarpando, al fondo, durante reunión sobre la campaña #Mochila2.0. Foto: CBDE

24-year-old Gabriel Villarpando was one out of more than 50 young people and adolescents that took part in 

#TheEducationWeNeed for the world we want initiative, carried out between Oct. 2019-Apr. 2020, with the purpose of encouraging adolescents and youths from Latin America and the Caribbean to share their expectations and opinions on the right to education. 

After experiencing #TheEducationWeNeed, Gabriel started the #Mochila2.0 [#Backpack2.0] campaign, aimed at fostering conversations on the right to education and, in turn, collecting backpacks that stopped being used and distributing them to students who need them. 

The collected backpacks will be distributed next week to rural communities and [people] in situation of vulnerability in the region of Tarija and then the students receiving these donations will be interviewed and filmed, expressing their opinions and suggestions on the right to education.

“The education we need is emacipatory, equitative and inclusive education. An education that can have an effect, that is accessible, that is, that education exists everywhere”, affirmed Villarpando. 

In the conversation below, Gabriel explains the #Mochila2.0 campaign and comments on his experience of joining #TheEducationWeNeed initiative and on the importance of emancipatory education for adolescents and youths.

¿What is #Mochila2.0 iniciative?

Gabriel Villarpando – This initiative consists in the possibility of collecting backpacks no longer used, to be recycled so other people going to school can use them. 

The idea is to encourage students and parents to donate backpacks that are being put aside. Initially, we collected them and soon we will be donating them to encourage indigenous land workers who are out of the city, who live in rural areas [to go to school]. For them it is much more difficult to get new school materials every year, such as, in this specific case, backpacks. We want to bring this campaign to encourage students from indigenous peoples in the fields, starting with the students from the people Weenhayek.


Mochilas donadas para la campaña. Foto: CBDE

How is it evolving?

Gabriel Villarpando – We shared a call through the education centers that joined the campaign or that are working with us as a team and also through the secondary students’ federation. Besides, we have a group working as the initiative’s coordination team, named Unidos en Acción [Acting Together]. 

This campaign was officially launched in February 8, with [the participation of] education centers.


Where does such an idea come from?

Gabriel Villarpando – This idea comes from thinking how useful such a school material, the backpack, can be for our students, because we need to carry our notebooks, pencils and other school materials everyday to our education centers. The backpack helps us to transport all our materials much more easily. 

Everything really came from this thoughs, because for indigenous peoples it’s very difficult to be have the conditions to afford or renew their school material every year, in this case the backpack, since they live in rural areas and there is not much commerce there. They also have to go to the city and many of these families are really humble, and if they manage to get to the city —what doesn’t happen so frequently—, it is for buying essential goods, such as food and other groceries.

Many students from indigenous peoples don’t even have a backpack, many carry their notebooks and pencils in their hands. We saw a problem and a necessity is this regard, and we wanted to create the campaign #Mochila2.0 to encourage these students [to go to school].


In what moment was it connected to #TheEducationWeNeed for the world we need for the world we want campaign?

Gabriel Villarpando – Well, the campaign is actually connected to the concept of promoting the full exercise of the right to education as a human right and to officialize and promote public policies which can cooperate to the generation of a change towards the education we need, opening the way to having a better world as a result.

This is why we encourage the donation of the backpacks put aside, being used again these goods can generate a change so students can keep going to their school centers, alleviating the difficulties in their school life, especially considering they live far away or in the rural area. In that sense, our campaign wanted to remind the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [celebrated on November 20, 2019].


For you, what is the #EducationWeNeed for the world we want?

Gabriel Villarpando – The education we need is emacipatory, equitative and inclusive education. An education that can have an effect, that is accessible, that is, that education exists everywhere, giving priority to schools in rural areas, because many students walk for hours to attend their education centers. So this is why it has to be inclusive, accessible and this is the education we need.


Do you consider to develop other activities in regards to the same subject or initiative? 

Gabriel Villarpando – Of course we do, because the most important is that this campaign setting will result in the possibility of articulating and advocating to our authorities, people, decision-makers to generate public policies in benefit of the defense of the right to education.


Could you identify any positive change after having taking part in the campaign #TheEducationWeNeed?

Gabriel Villarpando – Of course I can. It was very important to get to listen to the voices of the [education] leading actors, such as the students, and the empathy they generated in the process of sharing their experiences, their livingness, to demand or socialize the education we need for the world we want. 

“The campaign #TheEducationWeNeed had the positive change of encouraging us students to insist in being heard all the time, and even more when it is much more strongly needed and much more important, because education is power”

The role it plays to generate public policies or to demand that this right is NOT vulnerated is really important. It even encourages us students to get involved in this advocacy plan to be developed, with all our demands and needs in regards to the field of education

Especially, in this stage of transition or political crisis Bolivia is going through, around the new elections for our country’s president. 

What we see is the #TheEducationWeNeedcampaign had the positive change of encouraging us students to insist in being heard all the time, and even more when it is much more strongly needed and much more important, because education is power”


Would you like to add anything else?

Gabriel Villarpando – This campaign was officially launched on February 8, with [the participation of] education centers. Nevertheless, I hope you can join this campaign, disseminating it and sharing it with your student friends or colleagues at all levels, so we can reach more people and also encourage other civil society organizations, coalitions or platforms in defense of education to join and replicate this kind of initiative.


Foto: Pedro Caldas/CUCA da UNE

Brazil: Students, teachers unions and civil society lead the struggle for the right to education

August 16, 2019

On this World Humanitarian Day, we affirm that the student, education professionals and civil society-led mobilizations that took place across the country on August 13 are a strong reaction and a sign of resistance to a government that has been making great strides towards a not desired past.

This moment is one of a huge crisis in the Brazilian democracy. Not that we haven’t experienced crisis in the past, but what we have witnessed since the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff in 2016 is the country’s democratic foundations and institutions being weakened and a backsliding in social achievements. We had never advanced so far in strengthening democracy and advancing social rights, and we had never seen setbacks at such a rapid pace.

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Foto: Luis Fernando Arellano

Youth from Latin America and the Caribbean transforming education

August 12, 2019

In 1999, United Nations General Assembly appointed August 12 as the International Youth Day, an annual celebration aimed at promoting the role of youth in processes of change, as well as raising awareness on the challenges and contexts faced by young people.
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Chile’s “Safe Class Law”: Violence in public schools and the “regulation” of school life

August 10, 2019

In 2008 UNICEF published the study “School life, an indispensable component of the right to education”, inquiring about internal regulations in educational establishments in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago, Chile. The results are surprising, for example, they showed that more than 50% of the regulations did not comply with the legal order in effect, that is, they transgressed or omitted rights, in particular regarding disciplinary matters. It was also noted that the regulations were reduced to a series of rules oriented only to disciplinary issues, which did not look at the community as a whole, nor the relationships, nor the responsibilities of all levels in the construction of reality. In addition, community participation was not validated in the vast majority of them. Finally, the study recommended not using the regulations to rule life in schools, at least not as they were then (UNICEF, 2008). (more…)


Foto: CLADE

SDG 4 Review of Chile and Guatemala at the UN

July 17, 2019

At the UN High-Level Political Forum, the platform to follow up SDGs across the world, Chile and Guatemala presented their voluntary national reviews about the implementation of this agenda. Four countries from Latin America and the Caribbean volunteered to participate in the 2019 review, reporting the actions taken for the achievement of the SDGs: Chile, Guatemala, Brazil and El Salvador. However, on the eve of the High-Level Political Forum, the last two countries announced that they would not participate in the review.

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Brazil does not participate at the SDG 4 review in the UN

July 16, 2019

In a session to review the status of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which seeks to ensure inclusive education, with equity and quality, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, Brazil has not pronounced.

“Brazil withdrew because it presents setbacks in terms of Human Rights. Our teachers do not have proper conditions to teach, many students do not learn and we have millions of people without access to school or illiterate,” analyzed Daniel Cara, general coordinator of the National Campaign for the Right to Education (CNDE), who follow-up the United Nations High Level Political Forum (UN), a platform for monitoring the SDGs worldwide.

The CNDE integrated the delegation of the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) in the Forum, and presented a report on the status of SDG 4 in Brazil to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Human Rights Council (OHCHR). It also participated in the preparation of collective civil society reports at national, regional and global level, on the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the UN Member States in September 2015, and must be achieved by 2030.

“We are on the eve of completing a third of the period of the agenda and the evaluation is that we have advanced less than necessary to guarantee the human rights which we seek to move forward. In addition, the progress that has been observed remains uneven, and several developing countries have faced political and economic crises that even show setbacks in relation to the commitments assumed at the international level. Unfortunately, Brazil is one of those cases,” said Andressa Pellanda, executive coordinator of the National Campaign.

>> See the full report in Portuguese and English

Read more:
Brasil: In a message to the UN, National Campaign expresses concern about the rights of children and adolescents

Foto: Misterio_Henry

In new publication, CLADE shares experiences, strategies and lessons learned on the fight for the right to education

July 10, 2019

The Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) launches the publication “Civil Society Advocacy for the Human Right to Education: Stories and Lessons Learned from Latin America and the Caribbean – Volume 3”. 

The document is available:

In this volume, members of CLADE tell their experiences on the fight for the right to education: the challenges, advances and lessons learned, the strategies and recommendations that remain for other civil society movements and organizations. It presents cases of advocacy, communication, research and mobilization in 10 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as 3 regional experiences, driven by CLADE and 2 regional networks that are members of the Campaign: Espacio sin Fronteras and ALER.

The document is the result of a permanent effort by CLADE, to record and provide visibility to the journey of its members in their advocacy and capacity building efforts; and, on the other hand, to promote the reflection on their success and mistakes, in a process of self-evaluation and capacity building by the network.

“In times when we witness a growing democratic weakness in Latin America and the Caribbean, when laws are passed to hinder the right to demonstration and social participation, when social movements, activists and students are persecuted and criminalized, and there are so many restrictions to participation, it is worth showcasing civil society action and its positive impact on education policies,” says CLADE.

The Campaign distributed the publication, during its participation in the High-Level Political Forum, which takes place until July 18 in New York, with an emphasis on reviewing the status of compliance with Sustainable Development Goal 4, related to education.


Organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean demand UN to include SDG 4 in the draft of the declaration of the High Level Political Forum

June 5, 2019

It is with great concern that the networks and civil society organizations that work for the realization of the human right to education in Latin America and the Caribbean review the “zero draft” of the Political Declaration of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) and note the total absence of State commitments in education and the acknowledgement of its crucial importance in the scope of the SDGs, human rights, democratic strengthening and peace”.

These words were presented in a letter signed by the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) and other networks, coalitions and civil society organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was sent today (6 June) to United Nations authorities, with the purpose of advocacing for the inclusion of references to the SDG 4 in the Political Declaration of the High Level Political Forum.

The FPAN is the official platform for monitoring compliance with the SDGs worldwide, and is carried out within the UN, focusing each year on the monitoring of specific Objectives of the Agenda, as well as the analysis of voluntary national reviews presented by the Member States

The next edition of the Forum will take place from July 9 to 18 of this year in New York, with an emphasis on the revision of SDG 4, as well as Objectives of number 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduction of inequalities), 13 (action for climate), 16 (peace, justice and solid institutions) and 17 (partnerships to achieve the objectives).

With the letter sent to the UN, organizations and networks demand the inclusion of SDG 4 in the next versions of the declaration. “We hope that this absence will be overcome in the following versions of the Declaration, so that the United Nations can transmit to the whole world, in a clear and forceful way, the importance of education for peace, justice, environmental sustainability, dignity, as well as the overcoming of patriarchy and all forms of discrimination. Education is key to promoting the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda in its integrity, and we hope this be acknowledged by the High Level Political Forum”, says Camilla Croso, general coordinator of CLADE.

Read the full letter below.

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