Schools to be no-zone for armed conflict

Jamaica Observer, June 14, 2015

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica has endorsed an international declaration that seeks to safeguard education facilities from being used in wars or armed conflicts.

Sergeant Coleridge Minto, director of Safety and Security in School at the Ministry of Education expressed Jamaica’s support for the declaration during an international Safe School Conference held recently in Oslo, Norway.

Government, through the Ministry of Education, is committed to ensuring education facilities are free from any form of armed conflict and that they will not be used for any form of military base, he said.

The conference sought to highlight the dangers and impact on the education system due to armed conflict. The conference, which was held under the theme, “Protection Education from Attacks” was attended by approximately 70 nations. Data presented at the conference suggests that some 28 million children are out of school due to armed conflict.

Since the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1998 in 2011, efforts to protect students, teachers, and schools during armed conflict have gained tremendous momentum.

Monitoring and reporting of attacks on schools and on military use of schools have greatly improved, which in turn has led to more concrete and effective response and prevention at global and national levels.

The declaration contains non-binding guidelines for protecting schools and universities from military use during armed conflict.