The UNESCO Chair in Applied Research for Education in Prison was established in the wake of the Dakar Framework for Action: Education for All – Meeting Our Collective Commitments, adopted in 2000 by representatives from 164 countries. The framework affirmed that education was a human right for everyone in all circumstances and that it constitutes an essential tool for social development.

In 2009, the Belém Framework for Action, adopted by the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI), goes further and recommends, “providing adult education in prison at all appropriate levels.”

In 2010, those who would later form the UNESCO Chair in Applied Research for Education in Prison participated to the 8th World Assembly of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) in Malmö, Sweden. During proceedings for strategic orientations, it was unanimously accepted to include the promotion of education in prison in the ICEA’s objectives. In December of the same year, the UNESCO recognized the foundation of the UNESCO Chair in Applied Research for Education in Prison.

The Chair was officially launched in 2011 at Cégep Marie-Victorin. This marked the beginning of the first and only research chair dedicated to education in prison and the first and only UNESCO chair housed by a Canadian College.

The UNESCO Chair for Applied Research for Prison Education, committed to implement the Belém Framework for Action and serve the role and mandates called for by the UNESCO, is working tirelessly to promote and generate research that can help provide quality education in prisons all over the world.