EVENT: Protecting Children in Armed Conflict and the Safe Schools Declaration: A Mediterranean Perspective

Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), October 5, 2021

2020 marked the 20th Anniversary of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC). The Protocol strongly condemns the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict, and direct attacks on schools. Further, as a practical tool, 111 States have now endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration- an inter-governmental political commitment to protect students, teachers, schools, and universities from the worst effects of armed conflict. While significant progress has been registered, children affected by armed conflict continue to experience grave violations and abuses. The Roundtable will therefore provide a critical platform for the Mediterranean region to recommit to safeguarding education during conflict, as well as a space to share experiences, good practice, and recommendations to protect children in armed conflict and ensure their safe education.

Opening Remarks

Marina Sereni

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy

Pilar Cancela Rodríguez

Secretariat of State for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Spain

Daniela Fatarella

CEO, Save the Children, Italy

Safe Education for Children in Armed Conflict

Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani

Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations in New York

Diya Nijhowne

Executive Director, Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack

Laura Guercio

Representative, Universities Network for promoting the rights and the protection of Children involved in Armed Conflict (UNETCHAC)


Video testimony from a displaced child in Syria (courtesy of Save the Children)

Moderated by 

Marta Serafini

Journalist, Corriere della Sera

In cooperation with: