Overview of the role of private providers in education in light of the existing international legal framework : investments in private education: undermining or contributing to the full development of the human right to education?
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This paper aims at giving an overview of private education – notably for-profit private education and the legal issues at the international level. The main question that this paper intends to answer is: how can the commercialization of education be reconciled with internationally recognized human rights? There is an ongoing debate about private education, notably for-profit education, leading to the commercialization of the education sector despite the fact that it is recognized as a public good. Indeed, United Nations Human Rights Treaty bodies – the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on the Rights of the Child as well as the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discriminations against Women – have recently recommended that Chile, Ghana, Morocco and Uganda strengthen their regulations on private educational institutions. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education has also devoted his last three reports to raising the alarm on the subject. Against this bacdrop, this paper aims at giving an overview of the legal issues arising from the increase of private stakeholders in the education sector while suggesting how a private actor should consider financing or delivering education.