Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council – 17th Session

Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on migrants and the Special Rapporteur on the right to education

Statement by Australia
31 May 2011

Australia welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education.

Australia agrees with the principle that free and compulsory primary education is the right of every child. The report highlights the challenges faced by countries striving to achieve this goal.

Australia values and promotes equity in schooling knowing that through education, all Australian children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Australian Governments have committed to the goal that all Australian children become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens.

As Australia strives to provide equal opportunity to a quality education for all young Australians, there is particular focus directed at outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and for those children from low socio-economic backgrounds.

The Australian Government is committed to closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage by ensuring that all Indigenous four year old children in remote communities have access to early childhood education within five years; every child will have access to a preschool program in the 12 months prior to full-time schooling by 2013; and halving the gap for Indigenous students in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade.

Australia acknowledges that its success against this goal will allow all Australian children to confidently engage with their community and pursue opportunity for further training and employment.

Australia would welcome the Special Rapporteur’s views on ways Australia can contribute to the development of international standards for primary school education. We would also be interested in his views on how education systems can strive for both equity and excellence.

Australia looks forward to continuing its engagement with the Special Rapporteur.