The European Union and its Member States thank the Special Rapporteur for her timely report. It highlights the issues of concern to the EU and its Member States. We support your call for a discussion on the introduction of digital technologies in education focused on the right to inclusive and equitable quality education and reflecting the commitments of States under international human rights law and Sustainable Development Goal 4.
Digitalization of education should not increase gender or other inequalities, compromise the quality of education or lead to violations of other associated human rights, in particular the right to privacy and gender equality. As you point out in your report, digital education may enhance availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability, including for children with disabilities, as established by Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. But digitalization can also jeopardize these rights when used improperly. It is imperative to work on reducing the digital divide, to facilitate equal opportunities to access digital learning especially for girls and women, persons with disabilities and those in the most vulnerable positions. Digital education needs to be used as an opportunity to facilitate learning and participation of persons with disabilities.
In this regard, we would like to call your attention to the importance of the EU Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027), adopted in 2020. This renewed European policy initiative supports the sustainable and effective adaptation of the education and training systems of EU Member States to the digital age.
Madam Special Rapporteur,
Could you explain further, how States and all stakeholders should fully take into consideration the human rights legal framework as well as gender equality perspectives and integrate it into their respective plans for digital education, and how important localization is in this process?
How can UN and its relevant specialized agencies further contribute to ensuring that digital technologies become an empowering tool in the field of education, while tackling the risks for increase of inequalities and possible violations of other human rights?
I thank you.