The Regional Forum on the Protection of the Right to Education during Insecurity and Armed Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa Region was organized from 19-21 January 2014 in Jordan as one of the main activities of a joint project between the United Nations Training and Documentation Centre for South-west Asia and the Arab Region (OHCHR-Doha Centre) and Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) – a program of Education Above All Foundation.
The report final provides information on the forum: its objectives, its findings and recommendations.
The report, Education Denied: Israel’s Systematic Violation of Palestinian Children’s Right to Education, was prepared for the July 2011 High-Level Segment of UN-ECOSOC in Geneva, Switzerland and reviews the implementation of the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the United Nations Development Agenda in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
The report informs that the the achievement of the MDG on education is proving unattainable as a result of illegal policies enacted as part of Israel’s longstanding occupation. By denying Palestinian children full access to high-quality primary education, Israel, the Occupying Power, is failing to comply with its binding obligations under international law.
Through this report, PCHR asks that the international community take all appropriate measures to end Israel's repeated violations of international law which inhibit basic human rights, including education, and development goals in the oPt.
The conflict has had a brutal impact on education in Yemen; 34% of children in the country have not gone to school since the conflict began in March 2015. As of October 2015 1.8 million children were not in school. In some cases parents and children are deterred from going to school because of fear of airstrikes, while in others, schools have been rendered unusable due to the conflict either because they have been damaged or destroyed. Amnesty International investigated five strikes that took place between August and October 2015 in Hodeidah, Hajjah, and Sana’a governorates, which appear to have directly targeted schools. These strikes killed five and injured at least 14 civilians, including four children. They have severely disrupted the education of the some 6,550 children who regularly attended the schools.
This report documents how violence, threats and intimidation carried out by parties to the conflict in Afghanisatn directly harmed or impacted health and education personnel, reduced the availability of healthcare,and limited children’s access to essential health and education services. Schools and hospitals were damaged or destroyed by targeted attacks and crossfire, with many remaining closed due to insecurity, threats or military use.
The findings of this report are based on data collected from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015 by the Human Rights Unit of UNAMA and UNICEF. The report focuses on attacks and incidents directly linked to the conflict – excluding criminal attacks affecting schools and hospitals and attacks carried out by private actors.
Data from a case study commissioned by UNICEF on crossfire is also included. All data is analysed through the framework of applicable international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international criminal law and national legislation, as well as United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1612, 1882, 1998, and 2143.
This important new report documents the major obstacles that prevent Syrian refugee children from getting formal education in Turkey, which is hosting more than 2 million refugees from the Syrian conflict that began in 2011. The government adopted an important policy in September 2014 that formally grants Syrian children access to public schools, but key obstacles including a language barrier, social integration issues, economic hardship, and lack of information about the policy, remain one year later.
Read more about the report, here.
This report looks at the challenges facing two countries on the front-line of the global refugee crisis – Lebanon and Turkey. Between them, these countries have some 732,000 children out of school aged 5-17. In both cases the level of need vastly outstrips the resources available. There are not enough teachers, schools or classrooms – and the education infrastructure that does exist is deteriorating. Refugee children face additional challenges in adapting to a new curriculum. Compounding these challenges, refugee poverty, insecurity and vulnerability create barriers of their own. While this report focuses on financing to deliver on the London Conference pledge, host governments also need to strengthen the reforms needed to deliver education to vulnerable refugees.
Of the 57 million children worldwide without access to education, over one third lives in settings of conflict and fragility (UNESCO, 2015). The escalating crisis in Syria has contributed significantly to this out-of-school population, with well over half of 1.4 million Syrian refugee children and adolescents not in school (UNICEF, 2016). While education in emergencies has risen as a policy priority in the mandates of international organizations (Menashy and Dryden-Peterson, 2015), the share of total overseas development assistance to education has declined sharply in recent years, with funding persistently low in conflict-affected states (UNESCO, 2015; 2016). Within this context, private sector engagement in education has become increasingly appealing to a growing portion of the international community. Private actors have responded in turn, spurring new initiatives, funding commitments and partnership arrangements to advance the cause of educating refugee children. Such commitments are indicative of the growing role of private entities as both educational funders and providers in contexts of crisis. This study explores the complex interrelationship between conflict and private sector participation through a case study of the education of Syrian refugees. It is estimated that 900,000 Syrian refugee children and adolescents are not enrolled in school, with enrolment rates for Syrian refugees at only 70% in Jordan, 40% in Lebanon, and 39% in Turkey (UNHCR, 2016b). Although private engagement in this context is evidently expanding, the exact nature and scale of this involvement has been unclear. This research seeks to better understand which private entities are engaging in the sector, the activities through which private companies and foundations support education, and the rationales and motivations that drive their involvement.
In spite of the impressive indicators regarding education enrolment and attendance in the occupied Palestinian territoty, access to quality education remains significantly compromised. The educational process has been obstructed and interrupted, and the dignity and safety of students and teaching staff violated in the process. The primary responsibility for this lies with the conflicting parties that continue and prolong a situation of protracted conflict and humanitarian crisis. These violations do not appear as isolated incidents or the unintended consequences of policies and budgetary constraints. Rather, they are the result of systematic targeting and legal discrimination at the levels of the legislature, government, judiciary and the military.
This report does not in itself attempt to document and analyse these violations and systematically document discrimination. Rather, it offers a methodology for how to monitor, analyse and report on the situation. It does so by offering both concepts and tools to allow us to understand, identify and access the relevant legal frameworks and mechanisms that may serve to address violations and bring about change.
The report builds in part on a series of interviews and workshops, conducted in 2011 in both Ramallah and Gaza City under the auspices of UNESCO. These workshops and other informational meetings allowed the Right to Education Initiative to engage in substantial capacity building regarding the human rights approach and to set the scene for the initial stages of a constructive dialogue. The hope is that this report may contribute to renewed action in three main directions: an understanding of the importance of using IHRL to support the Palestinian education system; an inclusion of IHRL into existing advocacy strategies; and an improvement regarding the way education policies and programmes are made.