BY CHRISTOFOROS PAVLAKS
With reference to the recently released Limbo on Earth: The Situation of Stateless Ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia. A Case Study from Kampong Chhnang, by the Minority Rights Organization (“Lack of ID ‘Root Cause’ of Ethnic Vietnamese Problems,” March 19, 2014), the lack of access to education is highlighted. As a newly appointed Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School, I want to call attention to the 57 million children around the world who are currently being denied their human right to an education.
I am joined in this call to action by 500 other young advocates for global education. Together, we make up the Global Youth Ambassadors group launched on April 1 by the U.N. Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon and the U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.
Shazia and Kainat are two of my fellow Ambassadors. Along with Malala Yousafzai, they were shot by the Taliban for going to school in Pakistan just over a year ago. Their story, and that of so many other of the youth advocates I have joined forces with, inspires me to stand up for the millions of children that are kept out of school because of poverty, early marriage, child labor and different forms of discrimination.
As firm believers that education is the answer to the greatest challenges we face as a society, we ask for your help in urging leaders to raise budgets, build schools, train teachers and improve learning for all children.
It has been shown that we could lift over 170 million people out of poverty simply by teaching every child in low-income countries basic reading skills.
So why are we not making this a reality?
Unless we revert current trends, we will not even achieve universal primary education before 2086.
Christoforos Pavlaks, Global Youth Ambassador, A World at School
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