Still under attack…education

INEE has promoted new reports on evidence that education is continually under attack. As mentioned before (personal comment not INEE)  education should at least benefit from a tax on weapons producers ,likened to ‘polluter pays’ arguments. A weapons producer should be taxed at a rate that allows a fund to be raised to ameliorate the effect on children who suffer from the profits made by arms manufacturers.Auseful discussion to have on the International day of Peace!

Schools under Attack in Syria
Global Education Cluster

Since February 2015, the Southern Turkey Education Cluster partner organisations have been reporting to the cluster staff attacks on the schools they are supporting or located in the areas where they are implementing activities. The Southern Turkey Education Cluster is releasing its first monitoring report Schools under Attack in Syria which provides a snapshot of the situation of schools in Syria. The report does not provide an exhaustive list of all attacks on schools which took place in the first half of 2015, but it highlights the devastating consequences of such attacks on Syrian children’s right to education.

Click here to read the full report


Education under Attack in Syria
Save the Children

More than half of all attacks on schools in the last four years have occurred in Syria, according to analysis by Save the Children. Between 2011 and the end of 2014, the UN Secretary General reported 8,428 attacks on schools in 25 countries, with 52% of these reported to have taken place in Syria. Since the start of 2015, Save the Children research has documented at least 32 attacks in Syria, but lack of access to many areas means the total number is likely to be much higher. This new Save the Children study brings to light how schools inside Syria have been indiscriminately bombed, destroyed, commandeered by armed groups, or turned into weapons caches or torture centers.

Click here to read the full report.


Education under Fire

A new report by UNICEF Education under Fire focuses on conflict and political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa and its impact on education. Over 13 million children are prevented from going to school due to direct or indirect conflict in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, State of Palestine, Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The report focuses on some of the barriers to education caused by conflict including attacks on schools and education infrastructure, fear of safety keeping parents from sending their children to school, overburdened education systems, lack of security for teachers, high costs of schooling and curriculum and certification issue.

Click here to read the full report.


Education and Armed Non-State Actors: Towards a comprehensive agenda
Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC)

This background paper prepared by Jonathan Somer of Persona Grata Consulting has been commissioned by PEIC to inform and orient the deliberations of the Workshop on Education and Armed Non-State Actors (Geneva, 23-25 June 2015) organized by PEIC and Geneva Call. I believe that the background paper is a pioneering work that lays out for the first time a clear frame of reference for better understanding the role of ANSAs in the provision of education. The background paper combines consideration of the international normative framework with strategic and operational issues that affect not only ANSAs themselves but also international actors concerned with education in situations of emergency, conflict and insecurity. Key questions are posed that constitute an agenda for both reflection and action.

Click here to download the full paper.

Why the UK has to take some responsibility for refugees fleeing from conflict zones…

The UK government seems to be hesitant in decision making concenring the present ‘refugee’ crisis as if it should be someone else’s responsibility. It may be worth exploring the link between Britain’s involvement in arms manufacture and selling  and the results of conflict that are partly fuelled by the manufacture and trade in arms.

World’s largest arms exporters

The units in this table are so-called trend indicator values expressed in millions of U.S. dollars at 1990s prices. These values do not represent real financial flows but are a crude instrument to estimate volumes of arms transfers, regardless of the contracted prices, which can be as low as zero in the case of military aid. Ordered by descending 2014 values. The information is from theStockholm International Peace Research Institute.[12]

2014 rank Supplier Arms exports
1  United States 10194
2  Russia 5971
3  China 1978
4  France 1200
5  Germany 1110
6  United Kingdom 1083
7  Israel 1074
8  Spain 824
9  Italy 786
10  Ukraine 664
11  Netherlands 561
12  Sweden 394
13   Switzerland 350
14  Turkey 274
15  Canada 234

Perhaps we can compare the profits made by companies who are promoting conflict by producing and selling arms to the state of education in the countries that suffer from conflict:

From the world education blog

$2.3 billion needed to send all children and adolescents to school in war zones

This blog details the contents of a new paper by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report on the barriers that conflict poses to getting all children and adolescents into school, and a new suggested target for financing education in humanitarian crises.

Click to enlarge

Our new paper, released today, one week before the Oslo Summit on Education for Development, shows that 34 million children and adolescents are out of school in war zones.  The paper shows that $2.3 billion is required to place them in school – ten times the amount that education is receiving from humanitarian aid right now.

One of the core reasons conflict is taking such a heavy toll on education is lack of financing. In 2014, education received only two per cent of humanitarian aid.

The paper determines that even the suggested target of at least 4%, championed since 2011, is grossly insufficient. Had this target been met in 2013, it would have left 15.5 million children and youth without any humanitarian assistance in education. In 2013, 4% of humanitarian aid would have left over 4 million children and youth in Afghanistan, nearly 1.6 million children and youth in Syria, and almost 3 million in Sudan without humanitarian support.

It may be reasonable to levy a higher proportion of a company’s profits who benefit from conflict so as to pay for the results of such conflicts – this has been promoted in environmental circles as ‘polluter pays’.

So there should be a link between those who promote conflict by providing arms and the impact on communities, families and children in particular.

The present ‘ refugee crisis’ should be more broadly discussed rather than narrow mindedly pinpointing the refugees as being the ’cause’ of the crisis.

Classrooms in the Crosshairs

In light of the International Day of Peace on 21 st September, it is necessary to reflect on war and its effects on education and children. Read the following report on how schools are use and misused during conflict in Yemen:

Classrooms in the Crosshairs: Military Use of Schools in Yemen’s Capital
Human Rights Watch

This 46-page report details the occupation of schools by government security forces, militias, and opposition armed groups, risking the lives and education of tens of thousands of students. Forces on both sides used schools as barracks, bases, surveillance posts, and firing positions. Combatants also stored weapons and ammunition, detained prisoners, and in some cases tortured or otherwise abused detainees on school grounds or in school buildings.

To download publication, click here.

Children and Armed Conflict: Report of the Secretary-General

It is worrying period to be a child in many countries,apart from the rising number of sexual abuse cases as well as violence against children in ‘normal’ circumstances (i.e. in most countries) there is widespread condemnation about the abuse of children in situations of armed conflict. The report from the UN secretary general, below, provides some of the evidence of the perpetrators of the abuse of children in situations of armed conflict -but is enough done to control th etrade in arms and the manufacturers of the arms themselves? In many cases economies thrive on the production and sale of arms -so lets look at the bigger picture as well as the specifics listed below.

Children and Armed Conflict: Report of the Secretary-General

(UN General Assembly, UN Security Council)

The present report provides information on grave violations committed against children, in particular the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, the abduction of children, attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access to children by parties to conflict in contravention of applicable international law (see sect. II). The report also describes progress made by parties to conflict on dialogue and action plans to halt the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children and the killing and maiming of children, as well as on the release of children associated with armed forces and armed groups (see sect. III).


The full report is available here


And from CRIN

The United Nations Secretary-General (SG) has issued his annual report on children and armed conflict to the Security Council which gives an overview of the situation of children in conflict zones and measures taken for their protection.

Annexes to the report include the so-called “list of shame”, a list of the countries that violate international standards on children and armed conflict. Each year, an updated version of the “list of shame” is included in the SG’s annual report. Read more.

The report is scheduled to be discussed by the Security Council during its annual open debate on Children and Armed Conflict. The debate will likely take place in September.

Last year, a new resolution extended the criteria for listing parties to the conflict in the annual report. The criteria now include parties that attack schools and hospitals. Prior to this resolution, the SG’s annual list was limited to parties who recruit or use, kill and/or maim children, or commit sexual violence.

Armed groups in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Iraq, all feature on the list, as well as the Syrian Government forces who regularly shell, burn, loot and raid schools, as well as assault or threaten teachers, students, and medical personnel.

The “list of shame” is growing rapidly. It now contains 52 names, 32 of which are so-called “persistent perpetrators” – parties to conflict whose names have featured on the “list of shame” for five years or more.

The number of persistent perpetrators has doubled since the Secretary-General 9th report. Read more.


New groups on the radar

The report included Syrian government forces and their allied Shabiha militia for the first time.”In almost all recorded cases, children were among the victims of military operations by government forces, including the Syrian armed forces, the intelligence forces and the Shabiha militia, in their ongoing conflict with the opposition, including the Free Syrian Army,” the report says.

Last week, Syria’s government was accused of carrying out a new massacre in a small village near the central city of Hama, with an opposition group claiming 100 people, including many women and children, had been killed.

“We have 100 deaths in the village of al-Qubair, among them 20 women and 20 children,” said Mohammed Sermini, spokesman for the Syrian National Council, who accused the regime of being behind the incident.

A few days earlier, over the weekend of 25 and 26 May, 49 children were killed in the El Houleh area of Homs, among a total of 116 victims, in a massacre that witnesses have described as a door-to-door killing spree. “[E]ntire families were shot in their houses,” said the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Some of the children were found with their hands tied behind their backs, with one witness recounting how in one home soldiers shot and killed children first so their parents would have to watch before being killed themselves.

A Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on “The deteriorating human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the killings in El-Houleh” was held in Geneva on the 1st of June. The members of the Human Rights Council “condemned in the strongest possible terms the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of El-Houleh in attacks that involved a series of Government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighbourhood.”

New parties were listed in Yemen (the First Armoured Division – FAD). In May, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had expressed concern over the use of heavy weaponry, landmines, as well as the detonation of unexploded ordnance in Yemen that have claimed the lives of 27 children and maimed 32 others so far. According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), the emergency in Yemen has all the characteristics of an acute humanitarian crisis, with nearly the entire population affected. Read more.

New parties were also listed in Sudan. Since violence broke out between Sudan and South Sudan a year ago, more than half a million people have been displaced by ongoing indiscriminate airstrikes by the Sudanese Armed Forces, as well as severe food shortages compounded by the Sudanese authorities’ refusal to allow independent humanitarian assistance into the areas. Read the report from Amnesty International.


And the veterans…

The Ugandan rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) remains among the most persistent perpetrators of grave violations against children. A new UN report released earlier this month, covering the period between July 2009 and February 2012, found evidence that at least 591 children, including 268 girls, were abducted and recruited by the LRA, mostly in DRC, but also in the Central African Republic (CAR), and in South Sudan.


New worrying trends

The report also highlights the increasing use of girls and boys as suicide bombers and “victim” bombers. “Victim” bombers are those who do not know that they are carrying explosives that are detonated from a distance. In 2011 alone, at least 11 children in Afghanistan and another 11 girls and boys in Pakistan were killed while conducting suicide attacks, some as young as eight years old.


De-listings, new action plans, releases of children

On a positive note, parties to conflict in Nepal and Sri Lanka have been removed from the list after their successful completion of Security Council-mandated action plans to end the recruitment and use of children. In 2011, five more parties in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad and South Sudan entered into similar agreements with the United Nations.

In 2011, the release of children associated with armed forces and armed groups have taken place in the Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, DRC, Myanmar, South Sudan and Sudan.

Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society – 2012

INEE has posted the highlights from  the 56th annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) which was held  in April 2012 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Education in emergencies, and INEE, were well represented in several panel presentations, including a review of the INEE Minimum Standards assessment, education in emergencies research, protecting education from attack, and the relationship between education and state fragility/resilience.

Some examples of the presentations are listed below:


4. A synthesis of agency work on education and conflict, Powerpoint presentation by Mary Joy Pigozzi, FHI 360 (2012)
5. Conflict Sensitive Education for Whom? The Criticality of Youth, Powerpoint presentation by Kurt D. Moses, FHI 360 (2012)

Exploring the Politics of Reconciliation through Education Reform

Post conflict education reform can often just include strategies such as the inclusion of peace education, yet it demands wholesale changes of attitudes, through a more comprehensive approach including curriculum content adaptation and teaching approaches. The article below, from the recent INEE newsletter, reviews some strategies used in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Exploring the Politics of Reconciliation through Education Reform: the Case of Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina

(International Journal of Transitional Justice)

Brčko, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), has had a separate administrative status from the rest of B&H since the end of the war. Education reform to overcome segregated classrooms and ethnocentric teaching materials, still a problem in the rest of the country, has been very vigorously pursued by the international administrator, who had more power to intervene in local institutions, including educational, than the international administration of B&H. Based on two years of fieldwork, this article explores the local implementation, at the classroom level, of these education reforms. It focuses on some of the challenges to post-conflict efforts to promote social reconstruction of divided societies, based on the day-to-day problems faced by teachers and students. Despite the author’s cautionary picture of this project, it is striking that she reports that, on the subject of multicultural education, “many respondents were in fact enthusiastic about progress in Brčko.” In the post-conflict context, this enthusiasm is no small victory.

Published in the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 6 (1), 2012, 126-148

Read full article here.

Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know – Educator’s Guide – HREA

From Human Rights Education Association (HREA)

Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know – Educator’s Guide

April is Genocide Remembrance Month. The Crimes of War – Educator’s Guide provides rich content on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It consists of eight thematic chapters: weapons; violence against civilians; child soldiers; sexual violence; terrorism and torture; genocide; international courts and tribunals; and humanitarian intervention. The Educator’s Guide is intended for use in senior level high school classes, advanced placement classes and university classes. Learn more:

And some new resources have been added to their library:

A Guide to Using the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa for Legal Action (Equality Now, 2011). Language(s): English, French. Keywords: guide, reference guide, judges, lawyers, NGO staff, female genital mutilation/female genital cutting, gender equality, reproductive health, sexual violence, violence against women, women’s human rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Optional Protocol to CEDAW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Union (formerly Organisation of African Unity, OAU), Committee on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Africa.

Capacity Assessment Manual for National Human Rights Institutions by Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, OHCHR, UNDP (Bangkok: Asia-Pacific Regional Centre United Nations Development Programme, 2011). Language(s): English. Keywords: manual, human rights-based approach (HRBA), national human rights institutions.

Human Rights-Based Approaches to Development Education: A toolkit for activists in new EU member states (Minority Rights Group International, 2010). Language(s): English, Hungarian, Latvian, Polish, Slovak, Slovenian. Keywords: NGO staff, development education, human rights education, human rights-based approach (HRBA), Millennium Development Goals, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.

RIGHTS NOW: A Training Manual on ASEAN Human Rights Mechanisms (Bangkok: Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), 2011). Language(s): English. Keywords: reference, training manual, community leaders, NGO staff, children’s rights, migrant workers, women’s human rights, ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Southeast Asia.

Training for Human Rights Educatin on Human Rights Clubs in Schools: Training Manual (Madurai: Institute of Human Rights Education, 2010). English. Keywords: training manual, trainers, secondary school, teacher training, training of trainers, children’s rights, human rights education, women’s human rights, India.

UNHCR Protection Training Manual for European Border and Entry Officials (Geneva: UNHCR, 2011). Language(s): English. Keywords: training manual, government officials, law enforcement officials, NGO staff, asylum seekers, freedom of movement, migrant workers, refugee law, refugees, trafficking in persons, European Union.

Women’s Rights in Muslim Communities: A Resource Guide for Human Rights Educators by Equitas and Direktorat Jenderal HAM Departemen Hukum Dan Hak Asasi Manusia (Montréal: Equitas, 2009). Language(s): English. Keywords:  reference, trainers, equality before the law, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, gender equality, reproductive health, women’s human rights, Beijing Declaration on the Rights of Women, Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Indonesia.

 Check out the site for yourself   hrea