Military training in and around educational institutions puts at risk not only the infrastructure of schools and universities but also the safety of students, teachers and staff, both in and while traveling to and from school. They could also raise fears and increase a general climate of insecurity and instability that may prevent students from going to school, parents from sending their children from school, and teachers from going to work - thus having an impact on absenteeism or drop-out rates.
The government should be able to requisition public facilities (libraries, sports facilities, community centers) to ensure the continuity of learning activities for students that are not able to continue their studies because of attacks on education. Classes should be relocated to other public spaces that ensure the safety of students, teachers and personnel and guarantee the continuity of education.
Schools and universities (even those that have been abandoned or evacuated because of the dangers presented by armed conflict) should not be requested by armed forces, including during armed conflict, at the risk of hindering access and availability of education by causing the discontinuity of learning activities. Also, the military use of educational facilities increases the likelihood of attack and may change the school/university from a civilian object to (legitimate) military target.
Armed forces may be designated to provide security to schools and universities in conflict affected areas to ensure access and availability of education. If this is the case, inform clearly what constitutes the mandate of the armed forces.
Sexual violence committed by officials of the national armed forces or foreign forces present in the country constitutes a crime against humanity (Rome Statute, Article 7, 1, g).
By endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration, states also commit to meet on a regular basis, inviting relevant international organisations and civil society, so as to review the implementation of the declaration and the use of the guidelines. You may inquire on their participation (and interest to participate) in such meetings and the sharing of good practice. You may further inquire as to whether there is national stakeholder engagement and coordination to implement the Safe Schools Declaration.
Steps in implementing the Safe Schools Declaration and incorporating the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict demonstrate the state’s commitment in safeguarding the right to education. Measures could include, for example, revising national policies and practices, including incorporating specific guidelines into military doctrine, operational orders, military manuals, etc.
The Safe Schools Declaration is an inter-governmental political commitment through which signatory States commit to protect education from attacks during armed conflict, including by endorsing and committing to implement the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict.