News Archive

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), held its 597th meeting on 10 May 2016, which was dedicated to an open session on the theme: “Children in Armed Conflicts in Africa with particular focus on protecting schools from attacks during armed conflict”

UNITED NATIONS | BY MICHELLE NICHOLS

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon slammed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen for killing and maiming children by adding it to an annual blacklist of states and armed groups that violate children's rights during conflict.

A true commitment to protecting schools from attacks and preventing their use for military purposes requires political will and action on the ground.

One Year On, More Support and Action Needed

By joining the Safe Schools Declaration, countries make concrete political commitments to protect students, teachers, and educational facilities during times of armed conflict.

While the movement of people from war-torn countries will inevitably affect the immediate ability of children to continue their education, a "growing number" of attacks on schools is adding to the problem.

Civilians, especially children, are routinely targeted in Sudan’s five-year civil war with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North rebels in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, killing thousands and displacing nearly 400,000 people.

That schools in Europe are under armed attack is shocking. But in fact, as in Ukraine, schools are both used for military purposes and targeted in most of the countries with armed conflicts around the world.

Girls and boys are paying a very high price in conflict. They are abducted, recruited and used, suffer sexual violence, killed and maimed, and their schools and hospitals are destroyed.

Investing in education and protecting our schools are the most-effective forms of peacekeeping that exist.

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