Literacy is an integral component of the right to education and a prerequisite for realizing other human rights. Globally, literacy provision has advanced over the past five decades as a result of the significant political and financial commitment demonstrated by national governments and the international community. However, these efforts have not kept pace with population growth; as a result, there are more adults without literacy skills now than there were 50 years ago. An estimated 750 million adults worldwide have no literacy skills. Women, rural dwellers, indigenous people, minorities, people with disabilities, and refugees and migrants often make a disproportionately large number of those who lack literacy skills.
To further promote youth and adult literacy, from the perspective of literacy as a continuum of proficiency levels and to achieving SDG4 target on youth and adult literacy in Sustainable Development Goal 4 (target 4.6), UNESCO is preparing a new strategy for literacy, which will be presented and discussed at the 207th session of the Executive Board in October 2019.
In this context, UNESCO is conducting a series of consultations with Member States, partners and experts. Taking place at UIL, in Hamburg, this expert meeting will bring together a group of experts with diverse backgrounds and expertise to review and discuss the directions foreseen for the strategy.