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UN human rights expert to assess education reforms in his first official visit to Bhutan

GENEVA / TIMPHU (23 May 2014) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Kishore Singh will be visiting Bhutan from 26 May to 4 June 2014 to assess education reforms and the education of vulnerable children, among other issues.

“All students should receive an education directed at the full development of their personalities,” Mr. Singh noted, while launching the first visit to the country by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on the right to education in the world. 

“This mission will allow us to assess the efforts undertaken by Bhutan as a least developed country to implement the right to education, the measures adopted for its successful realization, and the obstacles encountered both at the national and international level,” he said.

The human rights expert will evaluate the Government’s ongoing plans for future education reform as it seeks to provide opportunities for all sectors of society. He will also look into quality of education as well as teachers status.

Mr. Singh will discuss with national authorities the implementation of Bhutan’s eleventh five year plan (2013-18) in the field of education, especially with respect to country’s unique approach to happiness and human development, peoples’ well-being and good governance. 

During his mission, the Special Rapporteur will visit primary and secondary schools and public universities, and meet with Government and civil society organizations. He will also hold discussions with educators, academics, students and teachers’ representatives.

Based on his findings during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in June 2015.

A press conference will be held on Tuesday 3 June 2014 at 10:00 at the Druk Hotel in Thimphu where the independent expert will present his preliminary observations. 

Mr. Kishore Singh is the Special Rapporteur on the right to education since August 2010. He is an Indian professor specialized in international law, who has worked for many years with UNESCO for the promotion of the right to education, and advised a number of international, regional and national entities on right to education issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Singh has supported the development of the right to education in its various dimensions and worked to better understanding this right as an internationally recognized right. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/SREducationIndex.aspx 

UN Human Rights, country page – Bhutan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/BTIndex.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
In Timphu (during the visit): Sonam Tsoki Tenzin (+975 2 322424)
In Geneva (before and after the visit): Stee Asbjornsen (+41 22 917 9827 / sasbjornsen@ohchr.org) or write to sreducation@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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