News Archive

Governments Should Outlaw Attacks on, and Military Use of, Education Sites

(New York) - Governments should improve protections for students and teachers during wartime by explicitly outlawing attacks on schools and curtailing their use by the military, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

(New York) - Armed forces and non-state armed groups should immediately stop targeting schools, teachers and students for attack and comply with new United Nations Security Council measures to protect education in armed conflict, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said today.

New York, 12 July 2011 – During the annual Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution expanding the criteria for listing parties to conflict in the Secretary-General’s annual report. The criteria now include parties who attack schools and hospitals.

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the Security Council open debate on children and armed conflict, in New York, 12 July:

I thank Germany for organizing this open debate, and I thank the Council for its sustained commitment to the protection of children affected by armed conflict.  I would like to particularly thank the Foreign Minister of Germany for taking time to chair this meeting and I thank [him] for [his] leadership.

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack held its official launch on 21 June, 2011 with sponsorship from the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations and the support of the Institute of International Education.

On the same day that three students were killed in raids by Syrian security forces on university dormitories in Damascus, a global coalition of UN, education and human rights agencies was launched last week to defend schools and universities against the growing threat of violent political and military attacks.

I am concerned by the increasing trend of attacks against schools and hospitals, and I encourage the Security Council to further ensure that such facilities remain protected. –UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, May 2011[1]

BEOUA, Côte d’Ivoire, 24 June 2011 – “We arrived at school at 7:30 a.m. as we always do on a school day. At exactly 8:30 we could hear shooting coming from the direction of a neighbouring village...