International Day to Protect Education from Attack Date in the current year: September 9, 2022

International Day to Protect Education from Attack In 2020, the International Day to Protect Education from Attack was added to the list of UN international observances. Its main goal is to emphasize the importance of ensuring access to education in humanitarian emergencies.

According to the GPCEA (General Coalition to Protect Education from Attack) report titled Education Under Attack 2020, between 2015 and 2019, over 90 countries reported at least one attack on education, and more than 22,000 students, teachers, and academics were harmed, injured, or killed in such attacks. Countries and regions where students and educators most frequently experienced harm associated with direct attacks were Afghanistan, Cameroon, and Palestine.

In 34 countries, state armed forces or armed groups used school and university buildings for military purposes, including as bases, weapons stores, and detention centers. In 17 countries, state armed forces or armed groups were reported to recruit school students.

Since most military conflicts today are protracted, the futures of entire generations of children is at stake. Schools are supposed to be a safe space where children are protected from abuse, exploitation and recruitment and can receive education that will provide them with a better future, but in reality, schools in areas of armed conflict are often attacked.

In 2015, the Safe Schools Declaration was opened for state endorsement. By endorsing it, states commit to protecting students and educators during armed conflict, to deterring the military use of schools and universities, to developing conflict-sensitive education systems, and to ensuring access to education during war.

The International Day to Protect Education from Attack was initiated by Qatar; the initiative was supported by 62 UN member states. The UN General Assembly unanimously approved the resolution and called on UNICEF and UNESCO to raise awareness of the plight of millions of children that have poor access to education due to living in countries affected by armed conflict.

The resolution stresses that the primary responsibility to ensure access to equitable and inclusive quality education, especially in humanitarian emergencies, rests with governments. In areas of armed conflict, it is especially important to create a safe environment in educational institutions in order to protect students and teachers from attacks.

The main goal of the International Day to Protect Education from Attack is to raise awareness of the plight of more than 75 million children aged 3 to 18 from 35 countries affected by crisis and to support them in their education, which is greatly affected by continued violence and threats.

In addition, the International Day to Protect Education from Attack also highlights the importance of ensuring access to education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Distance learning is not available in many countries, leaving thousands of children unable to receive education during COVID-19 outbreaks and the ensuing temporary school closures that affect more than 90% of student population across the world.

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UN Observances

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International Day to Protect Education from Attack, UN observances, UN international days, access to education, education safety