Around the world, higher education communities are overwhelmed by frequent attacks on scholars, students, staff, and their institutions. State and non-state actors, including armed militant and extremist groups, police and military forces, government authorities, off-campus groups, and even members of higher education communities, among others, carry out these attacks, which often result in deaths, injuries, and deprivations of liberty.
On 29 October 2021, the 15-member UN Security council adopted a unanimous resolution, hailed as the first of its kind, which condemns attacks against schools, children and teachers and urges conflict parties to immediately safeguard the right to education. Importantly, the resolution makes explicit the links between education, peace and security.
Changes in the media market after the end of the cold war, the development of new technologies and the hindering consequences of multiple economic crises have strengthened collaboration between journalists, photographers, videographers, and NGOs. Media reporting on conflict zones could play an enhanced role in helping civil society organisation’s (CSOs) efforts to document attacks on education and CSO knowledge and connections could help journalists uncover important stories from the front lines.
This monitoring guide is designed to help civil society organisations monitor education under attack from a human rights perspective. It will guide you through:
I: the importance of monitoring
II: give you advice on what to look for and how to collect data
III: provide you with a list of indicators you might want to look at
IV: give recommendations on how and who to report to when identifying violations of the right to education.
Si les données sur les attaques contre l’éducation sont devenues plus largement disponibles grâce à une meilleure prise de conscience et aux efforts des organisations nationales et internationales et des organes de contrôle, des lacunes de données critiques subsistent. Les systèmes de signalement peuvent être absents, médiocres ou déconnectés des réponses efficaces aux attaques contre l’éducation.
While data on attacks on education has become more widely available thanks to better awareness and efforts by national and international organizations and monitoring bodies, critical data gaps remain. Reporting systems may be absent, weak, or disconnected from effective responses to attacks on education. Monitors, as well as victims and witnesses, may face threats to their safety, or insecurity may prevent monitors from accessing areas where attacks occur. As such, many attacks and incidents of military use go unreported, undermining efforts to calculate their prevalence.
This legal factsheet accompanies the Right to Education Initiative’s multimedia essay Caught in the crossfire: The right to education in eastern Ukraine. It has been made available for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.