Does it sound like a chapter of a science fiction novel? No. Schools and universities have come a potential target of armed attack and as a result 37 of the world’s countries have joined an International Safe Schools declaration that commits them to protect education from attack. The declaration was adopted recently at a meeting of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) hosted by the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry in Oslo. We include in this article information concerning the statement made by GCPEA.
Around the world schools and universities have been bombed, shelled and burned and children, students, teachers and academics have been killed, wounded, abducted or arbitrarily detained.
“Targeted attacks on education are robbing a generation of the chance to realize their potential, with a huge long-term social cost,” declared Diya Dijhowne, the Coaltition director. “The countries adopting the Safe Schools Declaration are making a commitment to take concrete action to protect students and their education in times of conflict.”
Information on the Declaration and guidelines at:
The guidelines call for armed parties to avoid using educational buildings or making them targets of attack. The Declaration also requires countries to record casualties from attacks on education, assist victims, and support humanitarian programming that promotes the continuation of education during armed conflict.