Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to education JST EU+   (23.06.22)


Item 3 - Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to Education, Koumbou Boly Barry

Joint Statement on behalf of the EU and a group of 99 countries

23 June 2022



I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union, its Member States and 99 other countries.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for her timely report.

Education is a human right. The digital transformation provides unique opportunities to accelerate the achievement of SDG4 on ensuring access to inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

We stand for a digital transformation governed by human rights and we reiterate our commitment to promote economic, social and cultural rights, in respect of the principles of universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights.

While underlining the opportunities, we are acutely aware of the risks of digital technologies, including potential violations of individuals’ right to privacy and child abuse. 

Online learning allowed millions of children and youth to keep accessing education during lockdowns. The pandemic also exposed global digital divides with 87% having internet access at home in high-income countries compared to 6 % in low-income countries.

We are committed to closing the various digital gaps, including the digital gender gap, foster access to digital, information and media education and to empower everyone, especially women and girls, and those in vulnerable situations to participate confidently and safely in today’s digital society and economy. Global connectivity to an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet is a prerequisite in this regard.

Special Rapporteur, how can we best address the digital gender divide and promote digital learning for all?

I thank you