Education Under Attack 2018 – A Global Study of Attacks on Schools, Universities, their Students and Staff, 2013-2017
The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack
2018 :: 159 pages
This study is published by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), which was formed in 2010 by organizations working in the fields of education in emergencies and conflict-affected contexts, higher education, protection, and international human rights and humanitarian law that were concerned about ongoing attacks on educational institutions, their students, and staff in countries affected by conflict and insecurity. GCPEA is a coalition of organizations that includes: co-chairs Human Rights Watch and Save the Children, the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In countries across the globe from Afghanistan to Colombia to India to Mali to Turkey to Yemen and on, students, teachers, and educational facilities are under siege. Targeted killings, rape, abduction, child recruitment, intimidation, threats, military occupation, and destruction of property are just some of the ways in which education is being attacked.
Between 2013 and 2017, there were more than 12,700 attacks, harming more than 21,000 students and educators in at least 70 countries. In 28 countries profiled in this report, at least 20 attacks on education occurred over the last 5 years.
To protect education more effectively, GCPEA urges states, international agencies, and civil society organizations to:
· Endorse, implement, and support the Safe Schools Declaration to ensure that all students and educators, male and female, can learn and teach in safety.
· Avoid using schools and universities for military purposes, including by implementing the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict.
· Strengthen monitoring and reporting of attacks on education, including disaggregating data by type of attack on education, sex, age, and type of schooling, in order to improve efforts to prevent and respond to attacks on education.
· Systematically investigate attacks on education and prosecute perpetrators.
· Provide nondiscriminatory assistance for all victims of attacks on education, taking into account the different needs and experiences of males and females.
· Ensure that education promotes peace instead of triggering conflict, and that it provides physical and psychosocial protection for students, including by addressing gender-based stereotypes and barriers that can trigger, exacerbate, and follow attacks on education.
· Where feasible, maintain safe access to education during armed conflict, including by engaging with school and university communities and all other relevant stakeholders in developing risk-reduction strategies and comprehensive safety and security plans for attacks on education.
UNICEF welcomes Education Under Attack report
YORK, 10 May 2018 – Speaking today at the launch of Education under Attack 2018, a new report by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), Shahida Afzar, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, said: “Today’s report is helping us shine a light on an issue that is too often overlooked. Children are under attack around the globe.
“Because of attacks on places of education, children are putting their lives at risk just going to learn each day. Their parents are forced to make a grim choice: their children’s education or their children’s safety. Rather than places to learn and to grow — places of learning have become places to fear.
“The report also demonstrates a particularly troubling pattern of attacks on girls and their education. Girls were targeted simply for wanting to learn in over half of the countries profiled in this report. In countries like Afghanistan, Mali, Pakistan, and Somalia, girls have suffered acid attacks, brutal abductions, and even execution in their pursuit of education. We must not forget the girls in Chibok, kidnapped from their school dormitory beds. Over 100 of these girls are still missing.
“As a global community, we must ask ourselves: What has humanity become when children face kidnapping or death when they are trying to learn? When parents are forced to deny their children a chance to learn because the danger is too great? When parties to conflict deliberately target schools and hospitals? When schools are used as military bases?
“Our outrage is not enough. Our anger is not enough. The scale of the problem demands that we match our outrage with practical solutions, new investments and a renewed commitment to deliver education to every child.”