International Day to Protect Education from Attack 2024
The International Day to Protect Education from Attack is an international observance established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2019. It is observed on September 9 every year.
It was established in response to the growing number of attacks on schools and educational institutions worldwide. These attacks can take many forms, including shelling, bombing, and occupation. They can also include the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict.
International Day to Protect Education from Attack Theme 2024
The official theme for the International Day to Protect Education from Attack 2024 hasn’t been announced yet.
History of International Day to Protect Education from Attack
The International Day to Protect Education from Attack was established through a unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly. It was created to raise awareness about the challenging circumstances millions of children living in conflict-affected countries face.
- The resolution introducing this day was presented by Qatar and co-sponsored by 62 countries.
- The resolution emphasizes that governments hold the primary responsibility for ensuring the protection of learners and the provision of inclusive, high-quality education at all levels, especially for those in vulnerable situations.
- It stresses the importance of increasing efforts and funding to create safe and protective school environments during humanitarian crises.
- This includes taking all possible measures to safeguard schools, students, and educational personnel from attacks, refraining from actions that hinder children’s access to education, and facilitating educational access during armed conflicts.
UNESCO and UNICEF will work together to commemorate this day each year, collaborating with partners within and outside the UN system. These UN entities, operating on the frontlines in conflict-affected regions, have a longstanding history of supporting Member States in enhancing their capacity to provide quality educational opportunities for all, even in times of crisis.
Significance of International Day to Protect Education from Attack
The International Day to Protect Education from Attack is an important day to raise awareness of the issue of attacks on education and to call for action to protect the right to education for all children.
- It is a reminder that education is a fundamental human right. The right to education is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international treaties. However, this right is often violated in armed conflict.
- It is a call to action to protect schools and educational institutions from attack. Attacks on education can have a devastating impact on children’s lives. They can disrupt education, leading to learning loss and increased dropout rates. They can also lead to physical and psychological harm and even death.
- It is an opportunity to celebrate the resilience of children and educators who continue to learn and teach in the face of danger. Despite the risks, many children and educators continue to go to school, even amid armed conflict. They are a testament to the power of education and the human spirit.
Facts from Report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict
- In 2022, children continued to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict, and the number affected by grave violations increased compared with 2021.
- From January to December 2022, there was a 112% increase in attacks on schools and hospitals, particularly in Ukraine, Burkina Faso, Israel, the State of Palestine, Myanmar, Mali, and Afghanistan.
- In Afghanistan, the UN verified 95 attacks (72 on schools; and 23 on hospitals), including attacks on protected persons.
- While non-state armed groups were responsible for 50% of grave violations, government forces were the main perpetrators of the killing and maiming of children, attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access.
- Among the factors having the most severe impact was the use of explosive weapons, notably in populated areas, such as Gaza, the Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, and Yemen, which led to greater child casualties and damaged schools and hospitals.
9th September 2024 Special Day
On September 9, 2024, the world stands united in observing the International Day to Protect Education from Attack. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2019, this international observance draws attention to the imperative of safeguarding education from threats and attacks. Let’s collectively prioritize the protection of educational spaces, ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to access and pursue knowledge without fear, fostering a future of enlightenment and global understanding.
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