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Sean D. Reyes
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AGO Joins Letter Regarding Special Rapporteur Visit to the U.S.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a comment letter to the Special Rapporteur on the right to education for the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The letter, which was led by the State of Montana, defended American parental rights of educational choice and freedom for their children.

The coalition of attorneys general write in advance of the Special Rapporteur’s visit to the United States of America, informing United Nations officials about their opposition to the Abidjan Principles, which obligate States to provide public education as a human right and to regulate private involvement in education. According to the Abidjan Principles website, this document, which was adopted in 2019, presents “a reference point for governments, educators and education providers when debating the respective roles and duties of states and private actors in education.”

In their letter, the States write that “the Abidjan Principles are also incompatible with the U.N.’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms … that parents have a prior right’ to decide what kind of education their children shall receive… Responding specifically to the Nazi regime’s use of Germany’s education system to indoctrinate children into its inhumane ideology, the Declaration said education ‘shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.’ Similarly, the U.N.’s International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights states … that private learning institutions must be respected and that parents have a human right to ensure that their children’s education conforms to the family’s religious and philosophical convictions.”

Joining Utah and Montana on the letter were the States of Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

Read the letter here.