Today, on the 10th of December, the European Students’ Union celebrates International Human Rights Day. This year we want to call special attention to Students’ rights. We encourage students all over the world to advocate for their rights and to participate actively in the fight against all forms of discrimination on their campuses and beyond.
We strongly believe that access to education should be free from any form of discrimination, including, but not limited to discrimination on the basis of political conviction, religion, race, ethnic or cultural origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic standing or any disability they may have. Education is at the stem of our approach to creating inclusive and democratic societies which cannot happen without the ability for students to freely express themselves. Students should have a safe path through their education and be able to finish their studies and start creating additional value to the world around them.
In regards to assuring a Higher Education area that is inclusive and creates opportunities for students to excel in their fields and become true Global citizens, the European Students’ Union has written the Students’ Rights Charter which represents the fundamental rights that every student must be provided. The legal baseline for our Students’ RIghts Charter in article 26 “the right to education” of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These rights apply for all domains and ought to be implemented at all levels of student involvement within Higher Education, including within permanent and structured alliances of Higher Education Institutions with decision and policymaking powers.
Our Students’ Rights Charter includes chapters on the Social Dimension in Higher Education, Public responsibility, Institutional Autonomy and Academic Freedom, Internationalisation and Mobility, Quality Education and Student Involvement. Today, we also think of all the students that have suffered violations of their students’ rights and who cannot exercise their rights without fearing persecution or severe punishment. Students’ rights violations can occur on different levels, mainly the national, institutional and personal levels.
During this Human Rights Day, ESU has the vision that these rights, which are expressed in the Students’ Rights Charter, will be respected by all students universally. We want to make it clear: Students’ Rights are Human Rights and we fight for equal rights without compromise.
We call all stakeholders in higher education to acknowledge and respect students’ rights and to ensure the implementation of our Students’ Rights Charter!
Find the full students’ rights charter here.