Foreign Policy Blogs

Lack of Education…the Root of Children's Rights Violations?


Education is a basic right for all children around the world, yet in the developing world there are almost two billion children, most of which are not receiving an a proper education, or any education at all. According to the Global Fund for Children one in five children, 120 to 125 million children, are not enrolled in school. Of those who do receive an education, mostly in the developing world, one in five will not make it past the fifth grade. The lack of education for much of the worlds children is of grave concern, and continues to impact not only the life’s of the children themselves, but the development and progress of entire nations. If a large majority of a countries children are not educated, the prospect of the future business, political, religious and government leaders of is marred for many generations.

As a world community we are fighting poverty, disease, war, child labor, child soldiers, human slavery, trafficking, and so much more, yet our biggest fight and the root of so many issues is a lack of education. Children and adults who are illiterate or uneducated are more susceptible for victimization and therefore decreases life expectancy.

Distribution of Children Enrolled in School Worldwide



The lack of education in the developing world means more than just another generation of illiterate children, who will enter into the same cycle as their parents. This is a generation of children who will continue into a life of poverty, with no real tools to fight the cycle that plagues their families and villages. Children do not go to school, or our pulled from school, for a number of reasons, however the largest is that children are used to assist the families and work. It must be clearly understood that while many children are forced to work in horrid child labor conditions, much of which is child slavery, many are working along side their families in the fields or home.


World Bank

The problem with education in poorer countries, is not only a lack of funding for education, but also a lack of infrastructure, so therefore while basic education may be mandatory in many countries, the quality of education is far from adequate. As the educational demands around the industrialized nations increase, the developing world is falling even farther behind. With a the basic educational needs of children so often not met, children are not being given a fighting chance at braking the cycle of poverty, disease, abuse, war, and so much more. Education is more than an escape, it is a fundamental right, and we must work together to ensure that all of the worlds children receive a basic education. However we must not stop with basic education, we must work to ensure that children have the opportunities to obtain all levels of education, and close the educational gap between the unindustrialized and industrialized countries. Children are our worlds most valuable resources, and therefore we must make substantial investments into developing those resources.


The Global Fund
Visit the World of the United Nations – Slideshow, shows importance of education and why children don’t get an education.
Time for Kids: School Years Around the World
Peace Corps Kids World
Cool Planet
Education in Japan
ThinkQuest: The School Systems Compared
Time for Kids: India
Republic of Lebanon
A Day in the Life of an Italian Student
PBS: Africa for Kids
ThinkQuest: A Day in the Life of an African Student
Time for Kids: Egypt
Time for Kids: Mexico



Cassandra Clifford

Cassandra Clifford is the Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation, which works to enhance and improve the services and opportunities available to survivors of modern slavery. She holds an M.A., International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, as well as a B.A., Marketing and A.S., Fashion Merchandise/Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cassandra has previously worked in both the corporate and charity sector for various industries and causes, including; Child Trafficking, Learning Disabilities, Publishing, Marketing, Public Relations and Fashion. Currently Cassandra is conducting independent research on the use of rape as a weapon of war, as well as America’s Pimp Culture and its Impact on Modern Slavery. In addition to her many purists Cassandra is also working to develop a series of children’s books.

Cassandra currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she also writes for the Examiner, as the DC Human Rights Examiner, and serves as an active leadership member of DC Stop Modern Slavery.

Areas of Focus:
Children's Rights; Human Rights; Conflict