Rethinking digitalization and the right to education post-COVID-19

Date: 17 August 2021
Lockdowns have had momentous impact on children’s lives worldwide and in particular on the right to education. Save the Children reports that more than 1.6 billion learners globally have faced school closures, resulting in at least 10 million children not returning to school. Among key international stakeholders there appears to be a preoccupation with access to remote education. But is this an appropriate understanding of how children’s right to education is violated? Or does it engender new problems with respect to discrimination, data protection, the freedom of speech and of thought, and the right to culture? The digital platforms represent a fragmentation of the right to education, in contrast to the comprehensive and holistic understandings of the right to education. In this roundtable we ask how COVID-19 is affecting children’s rights adversely.
An introduction by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (Professor of Law, University of Oslo and PRIO) is followed by a roundtable discussion with Jackie Dugard (Associate Professor of Law, University of the Witwatersrand and CESR) and Marie Tindstad (Rafto Foundation of Human Rights). Moderated by Ana Cortes (CMI, LawTransform, PhD candidate at the University of Coimbra).