The publication aims to empower personnel of ministries responsible for education to better prevent attacks on education and protect schools from military use. Every person has the right to education, including those living in crisis-affected situations. Yet, sadly, schools and universities are directly targeted for attacks and violence or used by armed parties as bases, barracks, weapons caches, detention centers, and for other military purposes. This is clearly detrimental to students’ right to education.
The report calls on ministries to take seven key actions to protect education:
• analyze the situation and monitor attacks;
• secure schools;
• ensure education continuity;
• support communities in protecting education;
• be conflict sensitive;
• systematize education protection in ministries’ administrative and operational processes;
• advocate with other government bodies to support protective measures, including state endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration and implementation of the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict.
December 16 also marks the first anniversary of the release of the finalized Guidelines by the Permanent Missions of Norway and Argentina to the United Nations in Geneva. The Guidelines provide pragmatic guidance to armed parties on how to restrict use of schools for military purposes, and avoid making schools targets for opposing forces. To date, 51 states have joined the Declaration since it was opened for endorsement in May at a conference in Oslo. The Declaration enumerates commitments to protect education from attack, including by endorsing and using the Guidelines.