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Children's Right to Education: Where Does the World Stand?

Fielding School Dean Jody Heymann and the WORLD Policy Analysis Center contributed an op-ed article to The Huffington Post on the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.
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Date: 
Thursday, November 6, 2014
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Dean Jody Heymann
Dr. Jody Heymann

By Dr. Jody Heymann, Dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Co-authored by Aleta Sprague and Kristen Savage, WORLD Policy Analysis Center.

In Mexico, one out of every two teenagers won't finish high school. In India, only a third of students get their high school diploma. Even in the U.S., around 5500 high schoolers will drop out before the end of the day.

What do all these countries have in common? Under their national laws, dropping out of high school is perfectly legal.

That's not the case everywhere. In Portugal, Germany, New Zealand and over two dozen other countries around the world, completing secondary school is required by law--setting kids up for success as adults.

This is but one example of how countries' policy choices about education shape their children's futures. Twenty-five years ago this month, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which, among other things, calls on every country to enact legislation that will reduce both social and financial barriers to staying in school. Today, the CRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, with 194 parties (the United States, Somalia, and South Sudan are the lone holdouts).

Still, 25 years after committing to protect every child's right to education, have these 194 governments followed through on their promise?

Read the Full Article on Huffington Post Impact