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Closing the Gap: Asia Education Update - October 2020

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Education for Refugee Children

Of the 4.3 million refugees and asylum-seekers in Asia and the Pacific, an estimated 810,0001 are at primary school age. This report focuses on 13 countries in Asia where education data is available. The finding is that only 32%2 of them have access to formal primary education.

The right to education is one of the most fundamental human rights supported by a number of international conventions including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. All countries in Asia and the Pacific are striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 which includes components related to equal access to education. UNHCR, through its recent refugee strategy “Refugee Education 2030: A Strategy for Refugee Inclusion” , recognizes the importance of enhancing equitable access to education for refugees and other persons of concern, and is committed to boosting enrolment and retention of refugee students through its programmes by working in close coordination with host governments and partners.

UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) prepared this update to highlight the challenges faced by refugees and other persons of concern in Asia in terms of equity, inclusion and access to education, and to demonstrate how UNHCR is working to improve the situation together with refugees themselves, States, partners, and other stakeholders.