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The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack released its fourth report in the ‘Education under Attack' series.

The series examines actual or threatened use of force against students, teachers, education personnel, facilities and materials.

The 2018 report finds that violence towards students, educators and their institutions increased globally between 2013 and 2017.

10 May 2018: The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) released its fourth report in the series titled, ‘Education under Attack.’ The 2018 report finds that violence towards students, educators and their institutions increased globally between 2013 and 2017 compared to the previous reporting period, 2009 to mid-2013.

The report finds that attacks on education have taken place in over 74 countries, and thousands of students and educators have been injured between 2013 and 2017. Hundreds of schools and higher education facilities have been damaged or destroyed.

The report profiles 28 countries that experienced at least 20 attacks on education between 2013 and 2017. In nine countries, over 1,000 individual attacks on students, teachers, education personnel and facilitates occurred: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Egypt; Israel/Palestine; Nigeria; the Philippines; South Sudan; Syria; Turkey; and Yemen. Students and educators were individually targeted most frequently in Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Nigeria and the Philippines. The report finds that girls were targeted because of their gender in at least 18 of the 28 countries profiled in the report.

“Places of learning have become places to fear,” with girls being targeted “simply for wanting to learn.”

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Shahida Afzar, said, “because of attacks on places of education…parents are forced to make a grim choice: their children’s education or their children’s safety,” in his remarks at the report’s launch. He stressed that, rather than places to learn and to grow, “places of learning have become places to fear,” with girls being targeted “simply for wanting to learn.”

To protect education, GCPEA urges States, international agencies and civil society organizations (CSOs) to, inter alia:

  • ensure that education promotes peace and provides physical and psycho-social protection for students, rather than triggering conflict;
  • maintain safe access to education during conflicts;
  • endorse, implement and support the Safe Schools Declaration;
  • avoid using schools and universities for military purposes;
  • investigate attacks on education and prosecute perpetrators;
  • provide nondiscriminatory assistance for all victims of attacks on education; and
  • strengthen monitoring and reporting of attacks on education.

Human Rights Watch and Save the Children Co-Chair the GCPEA, which includes the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). [UNICEF Press Release on Report] [Publication: Education under Attack 2018] [Report Webpage]

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