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Link to Official Document E/2011/NGO/97
Education is a vital factor in addressing poverty, discrimination, social exclusion and inequality. Education is the key to redressing gender imbalance that still prevails in so many societies.

In a period of fiscal austerity, it is imperative that the resourcing of education and MDG2 is not sacrificed.

Alarmingly high levels of national budget in many countries are devoted to military expenditure at the expense of funding for the Millennium Development Goals. ┐Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.┐

Indigenous children continue to experience serious discrimination contrary to article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including in their access to health care and education. This prompted a general comment by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Members of Indigenous communities are often excluded from decision-making and political processes and therefore do not have any legal standing or voice in developing policies affecting their children and youth. This is a particular problem in States where Indigenous Peoples are not officially recognized as Indigenous Peoples.

Recommendations:

1. Governments should allocate targeted financial, material and human resources to implement policies and programmes aimed at improving indigenous children┐s access to education;

2. Governments, with the active participation of indigenous communities and children should review curricula and textbooks to develop respect among all children for indigenous cultural identity, history, language and values;

3. School facilities are often not easily accessible to where Indigenous children live. States should support the use of internet-based technologies, establish mobile schools and long distance education programmes for Indigenous peoples who practice nomadic traditions;

4. Data collection be disaggregated to enable better inclusion of and to prevent discrimination against indigenous children in national plans. The results of this data may require changes in legislation and in allocation of resources, as well as educational measures to change attitudes.

(1) Speech of US President Dwight David Eisenhower, ┐The Chance for Peace,┐ speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 16, 1953.
(2) Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 11 (5.CRC/C/GC/11- 2009).
(3) International expert group meeting on Indigenous children and youth in detention, custody, adoption and foster care, 4-5 March, 2010, Vancouver, Canada.

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