This indicator measures the total number of reported attacks on schools, universities and other educational facilities perpetrated by state armed forces in a designated period of time. It is the sum of all reported incidents of attacks on schools, universities and other educational facilities perpetrated by state armed forces (including government paramilitary forces).

Schools and universities should be understood in a broad sense: the term includes primary and secondary schools, colleges, as well as kindergartens, preschools, technical and vocational training schools and non formal education sites. It also includes related infrastructure, such as playgrounds, libraries, school buses, university campus and educational buildings that have been evacuated because of security threats posed during armed conflict. Not included, however, are institutions dedicated to the training and education of personnel who are, or who will become, members of the fighting forces or parties to armed conflict (e.g. military colleges and any other training establishments).


States are the primary duty bearers regarding safeguarding and the implementation of the right to education. Schools are considered protected civilian objects under international humanitarian law. Therefore, they benefit from the humanitarian principles of distinction and proportionality. State and non-state actors have a legal obligation to respect international humanitarian law and can be brought to justice in case of violation of humanitarian principles.  The indicator may be applied at regional or national level.

Available data: 

Virtual library of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, OCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange’s Education and Conflict Monitor, the reports of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), and GCPEA and Insecurity Insight’s Education in Danger newsbrief

Human Rights Standards: 

Article 13 (4), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 29 (2), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 13 (5), Article 7, (g) (i) & article 8 (2) (b) (ix), Rome Statute;; Articles 50 & 94, Geneva Convention IV; Article 48, 51, 52 & 78, Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions; Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (7), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; Article 13, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities; Article 14 (3), European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights; Article 27 (3) ILO Convention 169;  Article 17, European Social Charter (Revised; Safe Schools declaration; Safe Schools Declaration. UN Security Council resolutions: 1261 (1999), 1314 (2000), 1379 (2001), 1460 (2003), 1539 (2004), 1612 (2005), 1820.

Interpretation and analysis: 

Add up the reported targeted and indiscriminate incidents of attacks perpetrated by state armed forces that have been identified and qualified in the indicator Have schools, universities and/or other educational facilities been attacked?