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.
Resolution 2601 (2021) recognises the crucial role of education for individuals and wider society, and expresses ‘grave concerns’ around the significant increase in attacks on schools and other educational facilities, as well as the ‘alarming’ numbers of children denied their right to education due to conflict. It stresses that children are often disproportionately affected by armed conflict and highlights the particular threats faced by girls worldwide, while expressing concern regarding the lack of progress in many contexts.
Noting that States hold obligations under international law for the protection of children in armed conflict, the UN Security Council urges them to develop domestic legal frameworks to ensure compliance and to prevent attacks on schools, children and learners, as well as teaching personnel.
Additionally, Resolution 2601 asks for strategies and coordination mechanisms to be established which facilitate the exchange of information on the protection of schools and education. This Information should be shared among States, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and UN political and peacekeeping missions.
Find out more about the right to education in conflict settings and the impact of conflict on education here. For detailed guidance on how to monitor attacks on education in conflict settings, see our monitoring guides.