Foto: Nova Escola

Contributions of Paulo Freire´s Toucht to Democracies´ Strengthening

December 21, 2021


The Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) has taken up Freirean thought and pedagogy as one of its main foundations for the struggle for the human right to education in Latin America and the Caribbean. Throughout the year 2021, in which the centenary of Paulo Freire is celebrated, CLADE has promoted and participated in various activities that recall the legacy of the Brazilian educator, and for the month of September in particular articulated the project “Freire’s legacy and the construction of democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean: experiences, reflections, alternatives”.

This article seeks, as the closing activity of the project, to highlight the connection of Freirean thought with the promotion of democracies, in opposition to the authoritarian tendencies that are advancing in our continent, specifically in the field of education, curtailing academic freedom and reducing the very purpose of education.  The violation of human rights is expressed in the criminalisation of student and teacher movements,

 in the most recent repressions in Colombia and Chile, as well as in the official measures taken in Brazil, reinforced by the so-called “gender ideology” and the “School without a Party” and “Don’t mess with my children” movements.

These manifestations, aggravated in the pandemic period, are signs that invite us to urgently deepen all efforts to defend democracy, strengthen social movements in defence of rights and freedoms, the human right to education and the accompaniment of transformative proposals.   

There are multiple perspectives from which it is possible to highlight Freire’s legacy in the context of the global crisis we live in, in which his relevance becomes evident and also urgent. Perhaps his greatest life lesson for the present is that “the struggle does not end, it reinvents itself” (Freire, 2003), a truth that has been expressed with great force in 2021 with multiple dialogues, writings, testimonies, experiences, mobilisations, art and meetings around the world, on the occasion of the celebrations for his 100th birthday. 

His life and work are intimately linked to Latin America’s social history, today threatened by the alliance of the neo-liberal agenda with conservative forces. In a special way, his contributions are linked to the history of Latin American education and the multiple practices closely connected to the awakening of the peoples, to the recreation of their cultures, to their political and organisational formation. Paulo Freire transcends his time, with a legacy that does not stop and that, on the contrary, is recreated. “Paulo Freire, more than ever” (Kohan, 2020).

The legacy

Paulo Freire (Recife, 1921 – Sao Paulo, 1997), known worldwide as the ” 20th century pedagogue” (Araújo, 2011), contributed to outlining the agenda of the “other” Latin American education of the 21st century (Torres, 2001). From very early on, he was familiar with poverty in Northeast Brazil, a reality that would become a fundamental nourishment for his reflections, fed in permanent dialogue with various currents of contemporary thought. Freire “subsumes, recreates and overcomes the influence of Marxism, Existentialism and Phenomenology” (Araújo, 2011: 822), defining a philosophical and methodological conception that combines ethical, political, pedagogical and aesthetic dimensions.  

His fundamental work Pedagogy of the Oppressed, written in Chile from 1967 to 1968, begins with the following dedication: “To the uprooted of the world and to those who, discovering themselves in them, suffer with them and struggle with them” (Freire, 1973). Considered to be the most radical pedagogical proposal thought from the Third World, Freire emphasised in this work the ideas that every educational process is a political process and that dialogue is the essence of this process and the meaning that educational action must have for both the educator and the student (Vale, 2005). 

After fifteen years accumulating experience in the field of Adult Education, Freire promoted, from the Movement of Popular Culture in Recife, the “Circles of Culture”, making public, more than half a century ago, the central theses of his major work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire, 1973:98), the same theses that resonate today, full of meaning and inspiration for the future: 

– “Instead of exclusively expository classrooms, dialogue.

– Instead of speaker teacher, debate coordinator and cultural animator.

– Instead of learner with passive traditions, the group participant.

– Instead of idealising contents of reality, generative themes, critical-creative discussion of reality.

– Instead of training people to simply adapt, train social agents of change“.

From an existential perspective, some contemporaries close to his life and his educational work explain the dynamic of life in which his ever-present thinking was woven, in close connection with the experience of praxis and his commitment to life:  

“Paulo Freire is a thinker committed to life; he does not think ideas, he thinks existence. He is also an educator: his thought comes into existence in a pedagogy in which the totalising effort of human “praxis” seeks, in its interiority, to become “the practice of freedom” (Fiori, 1973, p.3.)

“(…)It is very difficult to talk about the ideas that gave rise to Paulo Freire Method, because they are very simple (and some people need to complicate them). In fact Paulo Freire does not even have a definitive pedagogical theory. He has an affection and a practice. That is why it is difficult to theorise about it, without living the practice that is the meaning of this affection. That is why it is easy to understand what he has spoken and written when one starts from the experience of commitment practice, which has been his belief rather than his theory” (Brandao, 1986, p. 102).

“Universality of Paulo Freire’s work stems from this alliance among theory and practice. It is therefore a vigorous way of thinking (…), it thinks about reality and the action over it, it works theoretically on the basis of it. Methodologically, it is a thought that is always up dated”. (Gadotti, 1996:77)

It has been recognised that with his proposal, continually reconstructed in front of new realities, Freire went beyond ‘critical pedagogy’, inasmuch as he takes it up and recreates it in a dialogue based on reading the specificity of the multiple social contexts where educational activity takes place (Mejía, 2012). For this reason, several biographers and thinkers of his work testify that due to the originality of his pedagogy, “he remains unclassifiable” (Gadotti, 1996: 78), or that “his concepts do not fit into slogans” (Puigrós, 2021).  What has happened – clarifies this Argentine thinker and politician – is that from developmentalism, but also from Latin American progressivism and the left, there has been a reification and reductionism of Freire’s ideas; for example, the former has taken him as if he were just another method, taking away the transforming political element. 

Freire’s contribution has been to produce a new imaginary of education, to start thinking about it in a different way, with ideas related to the pedagogical link, non-bank education, openness to dialogue, recognition of the knowledge of others and transformative links towards the future (Puigrós, 2021). For the director of Paulo Freire Institute, in the 1980s and 1990s, Freire’s contribution constituted “a watershed in relation to traditional political-pedagogical practice. From there, and in collaboration with other critical theories, numerous theoretical and practical perspectives were designed in different parts of the world, impacting many areas of knowledge” (Gadotti, 1996:76).  His thinking acquired an international and transdisciplinary dimension, and from the point of view of an educator he contributed with his humanist-internationalist vision. 

Political and utopian nature of education 

Freire’s understanding of the intrinsic political-pedagogical nature of education has been a cross-cutting theme in his thinking throughout the different stages of his life. From this perspective, he thought of education as a political act, as an act of knowledge and as a creative act. 

In his Letters to Guinea Bissau (1979) with accounts of the experience of accompanying the process of reorganising education after the colonial liberation struggles, Freire acknowledged that his efforts had been aimed at “an increasingly critical understanding of the political and ideological character of adult literacy in particular, and of education in general” (p.17).  He referred to the need to unveil and understand the multiple relations of adult literacy and post-literacy (…) with production, with the objectives contained in the overall project of society, and of the relations between literacy and the education system of the country. 

Illiteracy was a political question and not a strictly linguistic or exclusively pedagogical or methodological problem (Freire, 1990). Methods and techniques are at the service of (and in coherence with) a given theory of knowledge put into practice, which, in turn, has to be faithful to a given political option” (Freire, 1979, p.18). That is why he clarified in his letters: “(…) we never took adult literacy in itself, reducing it to a purely mechanical learning of reading and writing, but as a political act, directly associated with production, with health, with the regular system of education, with the global project of society that we were trying to achieve” (Freire, 1979, p.21).

Back in Brazil, in his experience in public management, at the head of the Municipal Education Secretariat of Sao Paulo, from 1989 to 1991, he maintained as a central principle the struggle for a quality public school for all (“popular public school”), inspired ” by a certain utopia that involves a certain cause for the creation of a less discriminatory, less racist, less sexist society; a more open society that serves the interests of the popular classes, always unprotected and minimised”. (Gadotti, 1996: 103)

Under this understanding, educational practice and its theory cannot be neutral, since there are always at stake projects of society and education with interests and purposes: “the relationship between theory and practice is one thing in an education oriented towards liberation, and quite another in an education whose objective is domestication” (Freire, 1990:38).  The intentionality of educational practice, which makes it always transcend itself and pursue a certain dream, a utopia, does not allow for neutrality” (Freire, 1993, p. 87).

Liberation as an objective of education is based on a utopian vision of society and the role of education, which should allow a critical reading of the world. For Puigrós (2021), the concepts of “imaginary” and ” unprecedented viable” have an enormous political charge, an enormous challenge for educators to see that there are many paths that can be opened up, many ways of approaching education, which are unprecedented and viable, but which must be imagined.  Freire said that it is possible to go beyond utopia. 

Dialogic and participatory pedagogy for a radical democracy 

From a new understanding of the pedagogical relationship, Freire proposed overcoming the authoritarian transmission of content with a critical dialogue in which educator and student learn in a horizontal relationship, recovering the knowledge of all, and contributing to educate together in a process of mutual and permanent training for the transformation of the world. 

The participation of the learner in the process of knowledge construction was not only more democratic, but also proved to be more effective (Gadotti, 1996). In this understanding, both learners and teachers are transformed into critical researchers and, for this purpose, they can reappropriate tools such as action research, participant research and the systematisation of experiences, which promote the generation of knowledge from the social and political action of oppressed populations. Popular Education in its long history in Latin America has promoted these practices, based on the contributions of Freire and Fals Borda, since the 1960s, enabling a synthesis and mutual influence to increase both the level of effectiveness of transformative action and the understanding of reality (Fals Borda, 1978). The common knowledge produced from everyday life and different types of local knowledge produced from cultures is recovered. This methodological proposal is inserted into the framework of the construction of social power with forms and procedures that allow it to build empowerment through education, and to generate a new sense of public democracy. (Mejía, 2012: 92).

Rethinking the notion of knowledge construction meant, in turn, rethinking the notion of power and, therefore, the notion of democracy and citizenship (Torres, 2001), with the central objective of building a project for a fair and supportive society

Educational action for democracy 

Citizenship has been understood as the appropriation of reality in order to act in it, consciously participating in favour of liberation, in solidarity, since “men liberate themselves in communion” (Freire, 1973). Every human being can and needs to be aware of his or her situation and of his or her rights and duties as a person. 

Consistent with this challenge to society as a whole, Paulo Freire argued that it is not only in school that people learn, thus broadening the scope and forms through which education for transformation is exercised. From his earliest writings, he considered school to be much more than the four walls of the classroom, an approach that is current in the knowledge society (Gadotti, 2008), since the “school space” has expanded through virtual channels, with technology playing a leading role. The new learning spaces (internet, TV, social networks, social organisations, churches, companies, family space) have extended the notion of school and the classroom. However, in the context of the global pandemic, “platform capitalism” has imposed itself, says Puigrós (2021), introducing the accent on a “banking” educational relationship, which replaces interaction and the link with standardised content and devices. The problem, he adds, is who are the owners, who hegemonise the field of production, distribution, sale and use of technologies. 

Freire also broadened the meaning of education, since school is not only a place to study, but also to meet, converse, confront others, discuss, make politics (Gadotti, 2008), in short, to train in citizenship for democratic societies. For this reason, he recommended the importance of “developing learners’ awareness of their rights, as well as their critical presence in the real world” (Freire, 1990:36).

In order to strengthen educational work for democracy, Freire made it a condition that it should be carried out “with” the learners, stimulating a critical reading of reality. He added to this the development of the autonomy of the subject, solidarity (collaboration), decision making, participation, social and political responsibility and the affirmation of differences under symmetrical conditions. (Araújo, 2011).

José de Souza (2010) has stressed in this regard that Freire’s ‘critical pedagogy’ has contributed to the formation of citizens aware that the transformative power lies in the question that liberates, and not in the answer that imprisons them to existing, non-negotiable horizons and paths. The question liberates towards negotiable horizons and towards the construction of one’s own paths to reach them. This pedagogy also practices the deconstruction and decolonisation of answers whose historical origin, political intention and epistemological consequences reveal their irrelevance for the rural world.  

Why did the right choose Freire as an enemy? 

In the context of the authoritarian tendencies that are being experienced on the continent, Paulo Freire’s ideas and educational proposals have been the object of prohibition and persecution in Brazil by conservative forces, from the government and society, as well as teachers and schools that promote his thought and practices have been persecuted. These authoritarian and anti-democratic expressions are not neutral or apolitical, but on the contrary, as Freire himself warned (1973), their promoters “know very well what they are doing and where they want to go”. In his study “A Radiografia do Golpe”, Jessé de Souza (2016: 49) pointed out that “the obscuring of the genesis of social processes serves the political interest of rendering invisible the causes of inequality and social injustice” (…), of preventing us from looking at the roots, from questioning ourselves with autonomy (…)”.

Recognised in 2012 as “Patron of Brazilian education”, Freire has been valued as an example of thinkers who have inspired “ethical indignation and epistemological disobedience” (José de Souza, 2010), on behalf of the oppressed against a system of oppression, exploitation and violence. Their pedagogical ideology constitutes a model completely opposed to the neo-liberal agenda imposed on Latin American education in recent decades, in contradiction with the spirit of the universal right to education and the recognition of free and mandatory public education (Torres, 2001).   

Daniel Cara, professor at the Faculty of Education of the University of São Paulo and leader of the National Campaign for the Right to Education in Brazil, explains that Freire is not accepted by the extreme right precisely because his philosophy does not admit indoctrination; the sectarianism of authoritarianism prevents the recognition of a truly liberating pedagogy of autonomy, of hope (DW/Brazil).  

But Freire himself explained at the time (1973:37) that the “fear of freedom” is not only present in the oppressed, but is also present in the oppressors, in a different way. “In the oppressed, the fear of freedom is the fear of assuming it. In the oppressors, it is the fear of losing the freedom to oppress”. There is also a fear of the humanities, by specialists in education for economic growth, Nusbaum (2010:46) notes, since “the cultivation and development of understanding is especially dangerous in the face of obtuse morality, which in turn is necessary to implement economic growth plans that ignore inequality”.  Finally, Puigrós (2021) has pointed to the delegitimisation of public education and teachers as one of the strongest instruments of the corporations interested in the education market. An attempt to discredit teachers, to show them as useless, as a burden for the state, preventing teachers from continuing to transform themselves into someone who produces new knowledge in dialogue with students. 

To conclude, a message written at the time by his friend and fellow campaigner Moacir Gadotti: 

“As a planter of the future, he will always be remembered
because he left us roots, wings and dreams, as an inheritance.
As a creator of spirits, the best way to pay homage to him is to reinvent him”.  


Araújo, Sonia (2011). Paulo Freire. In: Dussel, E.; Mendieta, E. y Bohórquez, C. (ed.) El pensamiento filosófico latinoamericano, del Caribe y “latino” [1300 – 2000]. Historia / corrientes/ temas / filósofos. México: siglo XXI editores.

Brandao, C. R. (1986). O que é Método Paulo Freire (11ª ed.). São Paulo: Brasiliense.

De Souza Silva, José. La pedagogía de la pregunta y el ‘día después del desarrollo’. Hacia la educación contextualizada para construir el buen vivir en el mundo rural latinoamericano. (Documento en progreso). Campina Grande, Paraíba; Nordeste de Brasil. Julio de 2010.

DW/Brasil. News and analysis from Brazil and around the world. “Por que a extrema direita elegeu Paulo Freire seu inimigo”. Edison Vega. 17.09.2021. 

Fals Borda, O. (1978). Por la praxis: el problema de cómo investigar la realidad para transformarla   Bogotá, Colombia. Federación para el análisis de la realidad colombiana (FUNDABCO).

Fiori, E. Aprender a decir su palabra. El método de alfabetización del profesor Paulo Freire. En: Freire, P. (1973) Pedagogía del Oprimido. (8ª ed.). México; siglo XXI editores

Freire Paulo. (1973). Pedagogía del Oprimido. (8ª. Ed). México: siglo XXI editores – Paz y Tierra.

Freire, Paulo (1979). Cartas a Guinea Bissau. Apuntes de una experiencia pedagógica en proceso. (2ª ed. En español). Mèxico: Siglo XXI editores.

Freire, Paulo (1984). A importância do ato de ler. Em tres artigos que se completam. Sao Paulo: Cortez editora.

Freire, Paulo (1990) La naturaleza política de la educación. Cultura, poder y liberación. Introducción de Henry Giroux.  Barcelona: Paidos – Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia 

Freire, Paulo. (1993). Política y Educación. Editor digital original Titivillus e Pub base rl-2. Traducción: Jorge Mellado. Libros en

Freire, Paulo. (2003). El Grito Manso. Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores Argentina S.A.

Freire, Paulo (2011). Pedagogia da autonomia: saberes necessários à prática educativa. Sao Paulo: Paz e Terra.

Gadotti, Moacir. (1996). “Paulo Freire. Uma biobibliografia. Sao Paulo: Cortez, Instituto Paulo Freire, UNESCO, Brasil.

Gadotti, Moacir. (2008). “Escola”. En: Streck, D. ; Redín, E; Zitkoski, J. (Orgs.). (2008). Diccionario. Paulo Freire. 2ª ed. en portugués, revisada y ampliada. Belo Horizonte: Auténtica Editora.

Mejía, Marco. (2012). Educaciones y Pedagogías críticas desde el Sur. Cartografías de la Educación Popular. La Paz: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia. Viceministerio de Educación Alternativa y Especial. 

Nusbaum, Martha. (2010). Sin fines de lucro. Por qué la democracia necesita de las humanidades. Buenos Aires: Katz editores.

Puigrós, Adriana (2021). “Los conceptos de Freire no caben en slogans”. Entrevista realizada por Diego Rosemberg. En: revista Crisis, 22 de septiembre de 2021. Buenos Aires: UNIPE.

Torres, Carlos. (org.). (2001). Paulo Freire e a agenda da educação latino-americana no século XXI. Buenos Aires: CLACSO.

Kohan, Walter. (2020). Paulo Freire más que nunca: una biografía filosófica. Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires : CLACSO.

Souza, Jessé. (2016) A Radiografia do Golpe. Entenda como e por que você foi enganado. Rio de Janeiro: LeYa. 

Streck, Danilo R.; Rendín, Euclides; Zitkoski, Jaime. (Orgs.). (2008). Diccionario. Paulo Freire. 2da edición en portugués, revisada y ampliada. Belo Horizonte: Auténtica Editora.

Vale, María y otros. (2005). Paulo Freire, educar para transformar: almanaque histórico. (Proyecto Memoria). São Paulo: Mercado Cultural.

El texto trata de la relación entre Paulo Freire y la Educación de Personas Jóvenes y Adultas. La imagen es una ilustración colorida que trae el Paulo Freire con un fondo azul y diceres en naranja a respeto de la campaña.
relación entre Paulo Freire y la Educación de Personas Jóvenes y Adultas

Paulo Freire´s Centenary: his legacy as educator is vital for strengthening Y&AE for democracy

September 1, 2021

During September, the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) developed a campaign through communication, awareness and dialogue activities in order to remember the importance of the legacy of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire and reaffirm our option and struggle for a liberating education that strengthens democracy and promotes social transformation, towards a more just, equitable, sustainable and peaceful world.

CLADE is a plural network of civil society organizations, with presence in 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries and, from its founding moment, has assumed the thought and pedagogy of Paulo Freire as one of its main principles for the struggle for the human right to education in the region.

Emancipatory education, critical thinking, the transformation of educational environments and relationships into spaces for the collective construction of knowledge, reading of contexts, search for alternatives and transforming actions within the horizon of democracy, have been at the core of CLADE’s strategic work.

Within this framework and having in mind the centenary of Paulo Freire, celebrated on September 19, CLADE, articulated with the Latin American and Caribbean Campaign in Defense of Paulo Freire’s Legacy, organized by the Council for Popular Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (CEAAL), developed a month of communication, awareness and dialogue actions, to recall the importance of Freire’s legacy for the guarantee of an emancipating and critical education, which strengthens democracies in our continent and around the world.

Each week of the month, starting on September 3, CLADE members conducted and disseminated webinars, messages and materials in various formats shared through social media and other channels, as well as interviews and conferences, in order to highlight different concepts related to Freire’s legacy for the realization of an emancipatory and democratic education.

The last week of the campaign, from September 25 to 30, highlighted activities and messages about Freire’s legacy for the guarantee of Youth and Adult Education (Y&AE) as a key fundamental human right to promote sustainable development, human rights and, with them, our democracies.

In this framework, the Platform of Regional Networks for Youth and Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, of which CLADE is a member, together with the Latin American Association of Popular Education and Communication (ALER), CEAAL, the International Federation Fe y Alegría (FIFyA), the Network of Popular Education Among Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (REPEM) and the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), with the sponsorship of DVV International and Open Society Foundations, held a webinar on September 30, from 17h to 19h (Brazil time, GMT-3), to take up, disseminate and discuss the struggles, demands and proposals of the subjects and activists of Y&AE in Latin America and the Caribbean, on the way to the International Conference on Adult Education (Confintea) VII, which will take place in 2022 in Morocco.

The event, addressed, among other aspects, the importance of Freire’s legacy for the guarantee of Y&AE as a human right, popular and transformative education in the Freirean perspective and the situation of Youth and Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of pandemic.

See below de record of this event in English:

Freire’s contributions to Y&AE: towards sustainable development and social and environmental justice

Inspired by Paulo Freire’s perspectives and teachings, and with Confintea VII on the horizon,  members of the Regional Networking Platform for Y&AE in Latin America and the Caribbean advocate for a new Y&AE, which should be popular, free, secular, inclusive, emancipatory and transformative. An education that shouldn’t have colonial, sexist, patriarchal and racist features.

In front of welfare and remedial approach that is usually given to Y&AE, we defend that this educational modality must be of quality, with cultural and social relevance. In front of onslaught of tendencies that attempt to privatize education, the right to Y&AE must be guaranteed free of charge. Their homogenizing vision must be overcome with the conception of Y&AE based on the valuation and exercise of education in its multiple expressions. From this point of view, Y&AE not only has a high educational value, but is also a commitment to the transformation of reality, to the change of social structures. Faced with different forms of discrimination and exclusion of a structural nature, this educational modality must contribute to lay the foundations for our societies, which shouldn´t be colonial, patriarchal and racist.

In times in which the motivations for continuing studies, mainly of people over 15 years of age, have been transformed and go far beyond the fulfillment of academic training needs, the priority of Y&AE should be community, permanent and popular education because it is carried out with and in all areas where human beings develop their activities. Furthermore, it takes community processes as the basis for educational objectives and is committed to the process of popular movements and the overcoming of all forms of oppression. Thus, Y&AE should stop concentrating on formal education and give priority to non-formal and popular education, promoting the social construction of knowledge in communities that foster intercultural, intergenerational and intersectoral encounters.

From this perspective, which is in line with Freire’s thought, the new understandings of Y&AE are based on conceiving human beings as subjects of education capable of producing the urgent and necessary changes for the construction of a more just and sustainable society.

For these reasons, and in compliance with the principles of lifelong education, governments should recognize education throughout life and for the diversity of the population as a human right, guaranteeing its full functioning through public policies, institutions and pertinent resources. Literacy, being the basis for the continuity and completion of studies, mainly of the sectors with higher levels of vulnerability, in current times, requires a broad and diverse vision and educational offer that guarantees the continuity of studies at all levels and areas of the educational systems, overcoming the traditional basic literacy approaches, recognizing learning developed in daily life and developing educational processes from the culture and mother tongue.

On the other hand, assuming the challenges of the current context of multiple crises and the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the daily life of humanity, we propose to rethink an Y&AE whose principles should be the following: education to create harmonious relationships among human beings, community and mother earth, to enjoy health with integral well-being, and to contribute to develop a resilient society, which preserves the existence of all living beings; a liberating and transforming Y&AE, as part of social and popular movements and as a political-educational strategy and project, in such a way that people and communities become active subjects of the required transformations of the planet; education for the construction of a society free of all kind of discrimination, inequality and exclusion; a community and democratic Y&AE, for coexistence, participatory democracy and socio-community participation; an education based on social justice and political, social, cultural, economic and environmental rights of individuals, peoples and nature.

In other words, we defend an education and Y&AE for the encounter among cultures, that overcomes inequalities derived from colonialism, for intercultural dialogue and revaluation of collective knowledge. Based on Freire’s legacy, the transformative education we need, to build the world we want, is one that guarantees the right to know and the accumulated knowledge of humanity and science, with its use for the benefit of all people, from critical pedagogies and cultural dialogue for global citizenship, the defense of rights, peace, common goods and the care of our common home.

>> Read more in our regional statement towards Confintea VII (available in Spanish).


Foto: UNICEF/UN0339412/Frank Dejongh

COVID-19: CLADE considers that solidarity and adequate funding for the rights to education, health, and social protection are key to overcome the crisis

March 25, 2020

Considering the widespread crisis and state of emergency across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemia, CLADE acknowledges and appreciates the life and health prevention and care recommendations made by the World Health Organization. We would like to express our solidarity with families that have lost their loved ones due to the virus, as well as survivors and sick people. Likewise, we would like to congratulate CLADE members, as well as so many human rights organizations and movements across Latin America and the Caribbean, for promoting several initiatives to ensure the protection of education communities and their human rights. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to health workers, as well as workers in other key areas who put their lives at risk to provide essential services. (more…)

Experts and youths talk about the right to education in Latin America and the Caribbean

March 16, 2020

“The Education We Need for the World We Want: views from adolescents and youths in Latin America and the Caribbean” was the title of the virtual conversation held by the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), with the participation of youths and authorities from Latin America and the Caribbean, who stressed challenges and proposals to ensure the right to education in this region.

Foto: Felipe Abreu

Adolescents and youths share their views on the education they want for a better world

December 19, 2019

The initiative #TheEducationWeNeed for the world we want is aimed at mobilizing adolescents and youths in Latin America and the Caribbean, inviting them to tell us what education they need for a better world and the most important demands from their countries.


Foto: INAU

What are Latin America and Caribbean students’ thoughts on education and other human rights?

November 11, 2019

Overcoming discrimination and violence, the right to play, art and recreation, gender equality and the right to comprehensive sexuality education and to participate in the debates on public policies affecting them: these were some of the demands shared by boys, girls, adolescents and youths during the 22nd Pan-American Child Congress and the Third Pan-American Child Forum that were held from Oct. 29-31 in Cartagena (Colombia).

Foto: ICBF

“The Convention is a moral universal instrument against injustice to which girls and boys in the world were subjected”

November 7, 2019

Close to the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)  to be celebrated on November 20, the president of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which is responsible for monitoring this treaty, Luis Ernesto Pedernera; and the rapporteur on the rights of the child and president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, presented some thoughts on the advances and challenges for the implementation of the Convention.

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.


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…)

Education for freedom: CLADE launches document about emancipatory education

May 21, 2019

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The publication, launched in the context of the initiative “Education for freedom”, brings together reflections and debates gathered by CLADE network on this subject, addressing the right to education from an integral and holistic perspective, in its connection with: freedom, social transformation, decolonization, democracy, gender equality, communication and technologies, arts and culture, affection and care, as well as bodies and territories.

Its reflections offer ways for an emancipatory education that contributes to the formation of societies free from all oppression, and also to transform the lives of children, adolescents, young people and adults through reflection, dialogue, critical thinking, and the skills to question, discern, imagine and act towards other possible worlds.

“Education should contribute to people being in tune with their time and space, knowing their territory, context, history and cultural diversity. Therefore, spaces and processes of informal, non-formal and formal education must be related, promoting culture and knowledge, research, education and extension, contributing to economic, social and environmental justice”, the publication points out.


The document was launched on May 21 with a virtual dialogue, with the participation of Luna Contreras, popular educator and director of the Democracy and Global Transformation Program (PDTG, by its Spanish acronym) Tejiendo Saberes Perú; Martín Ferrari, an Argentine popular educator and one of the directors of the documentary “Education in movement” (Educación en Movimiento), and María Cianci, education and research coordinator of ALER. The dialogue was moderated by Rosa Zúñiga, general secretary of CEAAL.

If you weren’t able to participate in the event, you can access the recording of the dialogue (in Spanish) through the following link:

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