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“Children of ASEAN”

Summary Leaflet    Full Declaration

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Millions left behind

There are more than 3.2 million children out of school in ASEAN. Barriers often include, gender and racial discrimination, geographical distance, inadequate support for children with disabilities, school costs, languages, and emergency situations caused by conflict, natural disasters, statelessness and migration. These challenges are often intertwined to make the situation more complex and difficult to address.


Children and youth who -

do not have access to a school in their community;

have not yet enrolled at a school, despite the availability of a school;

have enrolled but do not attend school or are at risk of dropping out;

drop out of the education system.

Key Principles for the Declaration

This declaration is developed in line with SDG 4, and the following principles will be implemented and adapted to the different contexts of ASEAN Member States.


The entitlement to have access to education premised on non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all


Strong commitment, specific support, and resources to address all forms of exclusion and marginalization, disparities, and inequalities in access to education, participation, and learning outcomes


Access to education for all children and youth irrespective of gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, geographic location, religion, belief, culture, social origin and other factors


Continuous education, particularly to enable children and youth to access school, remain, and be retained in school without dropping out


Effective teachers, curriculum, methodology, pedagogy, educational materials, evaluation, facilitation, and child and youth participation in cooperation with families and communities


Flexible and different pathways of learning, both formal and non-formal, academic and vocational skills, especially for those who are disadvantaged or marginalized


Education is to be in a continuum and as part of a lifelong dynamic, a cornerstone for human development, with respect for the planet, and the quest for prosperity, peace and partnership

Recommended Programmes and Practices

Assistance to out-of-school children and youth and their families to address the impact of poverty on their right to education;

Incentives to enable all girls and boys to complete comprehensive, free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education;

Provisions for all girls and boys to access quality pre-primary development, and care;

Flexible learning strategies to give out-of-school children and youth opportunities to be educated out of school, and offering bridges between formal and non-formal education;

Basic education equivalancy framework at the country and regional level, including the recognition, validation and accreditation programmes;

Minimum standards of inclusive and quality education provision;

Minimum standards of physical accessibility, to information and communications, and to essential facilities and services necessary for guaranteeing equitable access to quality learning programmes fo all;

Encouragement of voluntary and outreach work to help disadvantaged or marginalized groups in ASEAN nad to foster inclusive education.

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