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GCPEA Protecting Education Newsletter - November 2015
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Protecting Education Newsletter

November 2015
Workshop on Promising Practices in Protecting Education from Attack



UN and NGO staff discuss their experiences in protecting education at GCPEA’s Promising Practices Workshop, Istanbul, October 2015.

Message from the Director


Ahead of the third year anniversary of the Pakistani Taliban’s shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in a violent reaction to her commitment to girls’ education, GCPEA convened a workshop in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 5-7, 2015, to examine progress in protecting schools, students, and teachers from such targeted attacks.
 
The Workshop on Promising Practices in Protecting Education from Attack gathered over 75 education and protection stakeholders working for Ministries of Education, UN agencies, and local and international NGOs in more than 13 countries affected by attacks, to discuss measures for protecting education and to consider how these approaches could be adapted to different contexts.
 
A local NGO discussed how 
in the Nuba region of Sudan they have constructed schools under grass roofs to make them less visible to aerial bombers, and have dug out foxholes near schools for students to hide in during these attacks. Pakistani Ministry of Education representatives from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa described an SOS system they have launched where one click of a button sends SMS alerts to up to ten police stations to prevent or respond to attacks. An NGO in South Sudan explained how they led negotiations with armed groups to vacate schools they used as bases by engaging with community leaders, and opening non-confrontational channels of communication.
 
Teams of country delegations developed action plans on how they would adapt these measures, or others learned at the Workshop, to their own context and GCPEA will seek to support them in this process.
 
In addition to these national-level measures to safeguard education in conflict, a global movement is underway to take concrete action to prevent and respond to attacks. The Safe Schools Declaration was opened for endorsement at the Oslo Conference on Safe Schools on May 29, 2015. To date, 51 countries have signed on to it, including many affected by attacks on education, such as Afghanistan, Kenya, and Nigeria.
 
The Declaration commits signatory states to protect education by improving monitoring and reporting of attacks, assisting victims, investigating attacks, prosecuting perpetrators, and introducing conflict sensitive approaches to education, amongst other measures recommended in GCPEA’s report Education under Attack 2014. The Declaration also commits states to endorse and use the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use During Armed Conflict. Our recent report, Lessons in War 2015, shows that military use of schools occurred in 26 countries between 2005 and 2015: the majority of countries in conflict in the last decade.
 
As Malala’s father and UN Special Advisor on Global Education, Ziauddin Yousafzai, said at the Oslo Conference in May, attacks on and military use of schools cannot continue:
 
"We have to have the moral courage to accept that what has been done to our children in the last 10 years - what has been done to our schools - is unacceptable. It must be changed now. And we should have the moral courage to provide national endorsement to the Safe Schools Declaration."
 
Initiatives at both the global and local levels give us hope that there may now be sufficient moral courage amongst a critical mass of actors to effect change and make a real difference in the lives of students, educators, and entire communities in conflict zones around the world.


 Best wishes,
 Diya Nijhowne
 Director, Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack

"When you have schools that are destroyed, it is not just about today; it’s about the future." 
- Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict 
(October 2015)

Latest News

© 2014 Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Somalia and Sudan endorse the Safe Schools Declaration
The latest endorsements were announced at a UNESCO General Conference high level side event on November 3, 2015, where H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, the Director-General of UNESCO, and GCPEA’s Chair, amongst others, discussed the impact of conflict on education.
 
read more>>
Workshop on Promising Practices in Protecting Education from Attack
Workshop on Promising Practices in Protecting Education from Attack 
At the Workshop, held on October 5-7, 2015, delegations from countries impacted by attacks on education and military use of schools developed action plans on how to implement lessons learned at the Workshop to their own context.
 
read more>>
UN Resolution 29/7
Resolution Protects Education from Attack

On July 2, 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 29/7 on the right to education, which includes language in paragraph 8 to recognize state responsibilities to protect education. This reflects recommendations in GCPEA's Principles of State Responsibility to Protect Higher Education from Attack, described below.

Read paragraph 8 of the Resolution>>

Malala's father speaks at the Safe Schools Conference

Oslo Conference launches the Safe Schools Declaration
Representatives from more than 60 countries attended the launch of the Safe Schools Declaration at the Oslo Conference on May 28-29, 2015. To date, 51 countries have endorsed the Declaration and the numbers continue to grow. 

read more>>
Lessons in War 2015
New Report on Military Use of Schools and Universities
In May 2015 GCPEA released Lessons in War 2015, which updates the 2012 edition and documents the incidence and consequences of schools and universities being converted into barracks, bases, weapons caches, detention and interrogation centers, and used for other military purposes over the last decade.

read more>>
Principles of State Responsibility to Protect Higher Education from Attack
Principles of State Responsibility to Protect Higher Education from Attack Released
GCPEA's Principles of State Responsibility to Protect Higher Education from Attack highlight existing normative frameworks that oblige states to protect higher education as part of their responsibility to safeguard civilians in armed conflict.
 
"This sinister growth in attacks on schools must end. It is important that we send a message now that attacks on schools, colleges and universities are crimes against humanity and that educational establishments are viewed as safe havens."
 
- Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,
 United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education 
 (April 2015)

Partner Publications

Palestine: Lessons from UNESCO's crisis-disaster risk reduction program in Gaza
Palestine: Lessons from UNESCO's crisis-disaster risk reduction program in Gaza
IIEP-UNESCO & Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC)
read more>>
Our School Became the Battlefield: Using Schools for Child Recruitment and Military Purposes in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Our School Became the Battlefield
Human Rights Watch
read more>>
We Will Stop Here and Go No Further
Safety, resilience and social cohesion guides
International Institute for Education Planning (IIEP)
education planning guide>>
curricula development guide>>
Education under Attack in Syria
Education under Attack in Syria
Save the Children
read more>>
Schools under Attack in Syria
Schools under Attack in Syria
Syria Response (South Turkey) Education Cluster
read more>>
Vulnerable Students, Unsafe Schools
Vulnerable Students, Unsafe Schools
Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict

read more>>
 
Free to Think: Report of the Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project
Free to Think
Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project
read more>>
Walk the Talk: Review of Donors' Humanitarian Policies on Education
Walk the Talk: Review of Donors' Humanitarian Policies on Education
Save the Children & the Norwegian Refugee Council
read more>>
Background Paper for the PEIC/Geneva Call Workshop
Background Paper for the PEIC/Geneva Call Workshop
PEIC
read more>>
Attacks on Education: addressing the data challenge
Attacks on Education: addressing the data challenge
PEIC
read more>>
Monitoring and Reporting to Enhance the Protection of Education in Situations of Insecurity and Conflict: Synthesis Report
Monitoring and Reporting to Enhance the Protection of Education in Situations of Insecurity and Conflict
Columbia University & PEIC
read more>>

Media Selections

>> Accountability best defence for deterring attacks on schools | Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict
>> In perilous times, a triumph for these young women | Public Radio International
>> Campaign to Stop Attacks on Schools | BBC

>> More than a terror assault, Garissa a direct attack on education | Devex
>> Bring them back now Project Syndicate
>> Campaign to Keep Terror out of the World’s Classrooms | The Guardian
>> In Pakistan, children attend school in shadow of fear after attack | LA Times
GCPEA is part of the Education in Crisis and Conflict Network, led by USAID.
read more>>

Recent Publications

Lessons in War 2015: Military Use of Schools and Universities in Armed Conflict
Lessons in War 2015: Military Use of Schools and Universities in Armed Conflict
read more>>
Commentary on the "Guidelines"
Updated Commentary on the “Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict”
read more>>
Q & A on the "Guidelines"
Updated Questions and Answers on the “Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict”
read more>>
Principles of State Responsibility to Protect Higher Education from Attack
Principles of State Responsibility to Protect Higher Education from Attack
read more>>

Partner Videos

Military Use of Schools Puts Children in Danger
Human Rights Watch
Military Use of Schools Puts Children in Danger
GCPEA Mailing List
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