Schools, students and teachers are being systematically attacked, and school buildings are used for military purposes worldwide, according to a new report.
The situation is worst in Yemen, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Congo, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan and Syria, all of which have experienced over 100 attacks against schools over the past three years, according to a report that is prepared by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA).
In war-torn Yemen 3.5 million children are now deprived of the opportunity to go to school as a result of systematic attacks.
212 schools, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have been demolished in targeted attacks since Saudi Arabia went to war against the Houthis militia in Spring 2015. Almost 1,300 school buildings were partially destroyed in the attack, and all in all 1,640 schools have either had to close or been converted into housing for war refugees.
Generation of losers
– A whole generation of children risk ending up as losers, says Shabi Mantoo, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner (UNHCR) for refugees in Yemen.
GCPEA consists of a number of organizations, including Save the Children, Human Rights Watch and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and they are mapping direct attacks against school buildings besides attacks against students and teachers, military use of school buildings, military recruitment in schools , and sexual abuse committed by soldiers and rebels in schools.
Of the 90 countries where there are reports of such attacks, GCPEA has documented a series of at least ten such attacks in 21 countries.
Girls and female teachers have been subjected to direct attacks in at least 16 countries since 2013, among them Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iraq, Palestine, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sudan, Syria and Yemen , the report shows.
This week world leaders gather in Buenos Aires in Argentina in an attempt to put an end to the numerous attacks on schools and teachers.
60 countries, among them Norway, have now signed a statement about working to protect pupils, students, teachers, schools and universities from attack.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today