Education – Internally Displaced Children
Equitable access to quality education for IDP children
UNICEF/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
July 2019 :: 12 pages
:: The exact number of children living in internal displacement worldwide is unknown, but there were estimated to be over 17 million at the end of 2018, as a result of conflict and violence, and millions more due to disasters. Five million youth, aged between 18 and 24, were also living in internal displacement. Too many internally displaced children grow up deprived of an education and the long term opportunities it affords.
:: A lack of capacity, resources and persistent insecurity, social tensions and discrimination are all significant barriers to education in many displacement situations. Internal displacement often places huge strains on already inadequate educational infrastructure, and when displaced children do attend school in many cases it is through parallel systems. These tend not to have qualified teachers or offer certified examinations, and risk having their funding cut at short notice.
:: Access to quality inclusive education brings significant economic, social and health benefits to displaced and host communities alike. It helps to foster cohesive societies and is a vital tool in fighting prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination. By improving livelihood opportunities and supporting socioeconomic development for all, it also has the potential to address some of the causes of displacement and prevent future crises.
:: Ensuring access to national education systems for internally displaced children is vital, provided it is safe to do so. The reflexive responses of governments to crises, and in many cases the humanitarian actors supporting governments, however, often include offering education outside the formal system. Governments have an obligation to provide equal access to education for internally displaced children, and there is growing consensus that informal schooling is not a sustainable solution.
:: Far greater priority needs to be given, and efforts and investment devoted to minimizing the disruption to education that internal displacement causes, while maximizing the potential protection and other vital support that schools provide for their displaced pupils.