International Day to Protect Education from Attack
9 September 2020 marked the first observation of the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, a day established by the unanimous adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 74/275, presented by the State of Qatar and 62 co-sponsoring countries.
Recognizing the importance of raising awareness on the dire need to preserve education and protect it from attack, the Resolution designates UNESCO and UNICEF to serve as co-facilitators for the yearly observance of this Day. It also calls upon stakeholders to keep this issue at the top of the international agenda and duly act to alleviate the plight of students affected by armed conflicts.
Schools, universities and educational dwellings should always be safe havens to foster peace and development. Their civilian nature should be recognized and protected, never targeted.
Armed conflicts bring many devastating barriers to learning. The protracted nature of conflicts today negatively affects the future of entire generations, particularly that of children and most vulnerable populations. The right to education must be respected, upheld and enjoyed by everyone, especially in situations of armed conflict and insecurity.
This upcoming third observance will focus on Act now to protect education from attack, and will feature a series of events including a High-Level Panel and expert discussions on the need for effective implementation of normative mechanisms to ensure the continuity of education at all times, guarantee protection of students, schools and educational personnel from attack, strengthen accountability for perpetrators and provide justice to affected populations.