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.

The aim of this report is to provide practitioners and policy-makers in both transitional justice and education with conceptual clarity and practical guidance for developing synergies between their respective fields in responding to past human rights violations. Drawing from a comparative approach that examines different experiences throughout the world, this report does not offer a blueprint for addressing past injustices through education, but, rather, considerations that should be taken into account when framing policy that is based on the particularities of a given context.

The report looks at how a transitional justice framework can play an important role in identifying educational deficits related to the logic of past conflict and repression and informing the reconstruction of the education sector. It also looks at how formal and informal education can facilitate and sustain the work of transitional justice measures.

Section I, which sets out the report’s framework, offers a discussion of what it means to consider transitional justice and education as separate but related elements of societal responses to injustices associated with massive human rights violations, and the contribution that synergies between the two fields can make to establish sustainable peace and prevent the recurrence of abuses. This section, thus, poses the question of what a transitional justice approach brings to the role of education in peacebuilding.

Section II maps out the different components of education reconstruction in which a transitional justice framework can be expected to make a difference. This includes incorporating lessons from transitional justice processes into educational curricula; increasing access to education through reparations or redress measures; and shaping school culture and governance, pedagogy, teaching tools, and teacher capacity and training.

The next three sections consider a range of political and material challenges that actors are likely to face in trying to link transitional justice and education and discuss some strategic considerations for implementing proposed ideas more effectively and sustainably.

Section III highlights the different actors that can play a role in linking transitional justice and education, including transitional justice bodies, civil society groups, school communities, and government, each of which can be an agent of change or an obstacle.

Section IV examines the more capacity and resource-based constraints that efforts to address the past through education are likely to face.

Section V emphasises the importance of identifying opportunities for change while maintaining realistic expectations for the change that can be achieved.

Section VI distills the findings to a set of guidance points for relevant actors. However, in offering guidance about the kind of change being proposed and potential steps, it is important to remember that policies aimed at addressing past injustice through education are very likely to be contested. The specific context will influence the level of this contestation as well as the usefulness of any recommendations, and so contextual analysis will be a critical first step. The guidance offered here must be considered with regard to each unique context. It cannot be assumed, for example, that all communities will desire full integration of schools or support incorporating a justice agenda into classroom learning. Some types of opposition to such eff orts, we argue, should be challenged, but some may be legitimate and / or unlikely to be overcome. These kinds of tensions between the principles of justice being advocated and the reality in which measures based on those principles may be proposed, designed, and implemented must be kept in mind. That said, the research conducted for this project suggests that a context specific approach to addressing the past through education can make a valuable contribution to peacebuilding.

This report documents how both Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed militants have carried out indiscriminate or deliberate attacks on schools. Both sides have used schools for military purposes, deploying forces in and near schools, which has turned schools into legitimate military targets. The resulting destruction has forced many children out-of-school and many schools to stop operating or to operate under overcrowded and difficult conditions, Human Rights Watch found.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 62 students, teachers, principals, and witnesses for the report, and visited 41 schools and kindergartens, located both in government-controlled areas and territories controlled by Russia-backed militants.

For further information, see Human Rights Watch's news item on the report.

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. 

In this report, submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 48/141, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights considers the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in situations of armed conflict, with a specific focus on the rights to health and to education.

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.

“Today, Syrian refugee children in Jordan face a bleak educational present, and an uncertain future. Close to one in three—226,000 out of 660,000—Syrians registered with the United Nations refugee agency in Jordan are school-aged children between 5-17 years old. Of these, more than one-third (over 80,000) did not receive a formal education last year.”

This report looks at the needs of Syrian refugee children in Jordan specifically around access to education, what success the Jordanian government has already had in getting Syrian child refugees into education, but also the considerable work still needs to meet the Jordanian government's ambitious target of increading enrollment amongst those children currently still without access to education.  The report also looks at what role donor financial aid is playing in helping to alleviate the situation.

Colombia está ante la histórica oportunidad de dejar atrás un conflicto que ha afectado directamente a su población por décadas. Los acuerdos finales entre el gobierno de Colombia y las FARC-EP permitirán la construcción de una paz estable y duradera. Sin embargo, la firma y refrendación del acuerdo de paz con las FARC-EP, de capital importancia, deben entenderse como el inicio del verdadero proceso para lograr la paz.

El Estado colombiano tendrá la obligación de establecer una presencia sobre los territorios más alejados y abandonados, de una forma positiva que genere confianza, cambios reales y oportunidades para los territorios rurales afectados por el conflicto. Dudar o fallar en ésta labor podría perpetuar el periodo de violencia y frustración.

La inequidad en Colombia tiene un fuerte sesgo rural. Los índices de pobreza y marginalidad, ausencia de servicios públicos y falta de acceso a una educación pertinente y de calidad, son excepcionales en estas regiones. Según el último censo nacional, el 45,6% de las personas residentes en el área rural dispersa vive en condiciones de pobreza multidimensional, porcentaje que incrementa al 63,8% cuando se hace referencia a la condición de pobreza de grupos étnicos y poblaciones desplazadas por el conflicto armado.

Adicionalmente, éstas mismas zonas rurales son históricamente las más afectadas por la presencia de actores armados y la violencia. Según un estudio de 2012, el 57% de los niños, niñas, adolescentes y jóvenes reclutados y vinculados por grupos armados procede de familias muy pobres que tienen severas restricciones en el consumo de alimentos y que se han desplazado como media 4,5 veces por violencia. La falta de educación, de oportunidades laborales y la condición de pobreza, se transformó en la receta perfecta para perpetuar el conflicto armado durante cinco décadas en el país.

La debilidad institucional y el conflicto confluyen en la precaria situación de la educación rural en materia de acceso, permanencia y calidad. Más de un 20% de los niños y adolescentes rurales entre 5 y 16 años no va a la escuela, porcentaje que se incrementa al 73,7% entre los 17 y 24 años. La mitad de los niños, adolescentes y jóvenes rurales no llega a superar el quinto grado.

Estos jóvenes tienen menos oportunidades de acceso al sistema escolar y no existen soluciones de fondo a los retos de calidad, permanencia y deserción. La falta de continuidad de la oferta educativa, el desplazamiento forzado, la pobreza y los problemas económicos, el coste de uniformes y útiles escolares, el transporte y la necesidad de trabajar son los principales problemas.

This video presents the work of the Education Cluster and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). The vision of both bodies is to enable all children and young people to have immediate access or ensured continuity to a quality education in a safe environment, in order to protect, develop and facilitate a return to normality and stability.