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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, the promotion of equality of opportunity in education, A/HRC/17/29, 18 April 2011


39. Pursuant to the legal obligations assumed by States under international human rights treaties, and following up on the political commitments they have undertaken, it is incumbent upon them to apply the principle of equality of opportunity in education through their national legal system. The place accorded to this principle in constitutions and other national legislation bears evidence to the way States incorporate their obligations into domestic law.

43. Additionally, other countries have enacted laws specifically addressing the principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity in education. Examples include the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (2000) in South Africa; the Law on Equality of Rights and Opportunities, Participation and Citizenship of Persons with Disabilities (2005) in France; the Prohibition of Discrimination Act (2005) in Norway, which establishes the function of Ombudsman on Equality and Anti-Discrimination; the General Equality of Treatment Act (2006) in Germany, which aims “to prevent or remove disadvantages due to race or ethnic background, gender, religion or philosophy, disability, age or sexual orientation” in employment and vocational training; the Equality Act (2006) in the United Kingdom which establishes a Commission for Equality and Human Rights and requires public authorities “to take proactive steps in promoting equality of opportunity between men and women”.

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