Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Oslo meet pledges to protect schools in war

Share this article

Oslo meet pledges to protect schools in war
An outdoor school in Afghanistan shown in GCPEA's video. Photo: Screen Grab
23:45 CEST+02:00
Almost 40 countries have pledged at a conference in Oslo to do more to protect students caught up in conflicts such as those in Nigeria and Afghanistan, which have suffered recent armed attacks on schools.
"Targeted attacks on education are robbing a generation of the chance to realise their potential, with a huge long-term social cost," Diya Nijhowne, director of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), said at the conference on Friday. 
 
She spoke to welcome a declaration by 37 governments on preventing schools and universities from becoming battlegrounds.
 
The Norwegian government, which hosted the conference,  estimates that 28 million children around the world are unable to attend school because of armed conflicts.
 
Schools and colleges have been used by armed forces in at least 26 countries, according to GCPEA, a consortium of education and humanitarian organisations pushing for greater protection of students and teachers.
   
Governments signing up to the Safe Schools Declaration, including several Middle Eastern and South American states, agreed to ensure  -- on a non-legally binding basis -- that schools and colleges remain off-limits to military forces in a conflict, even when their buildings have been abandoned.
 
The signers included Nigeria, where Boko Haram insurgents have attacked schools and abducted 276 girls in the remote northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014.
 
At his swearing in Friday, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said all efforts would be made to rescue the girls and hundreds of other hostages held by the militants.
 
Also among the adherents was Afghanistan, where the Taliban have violently opposed education for girls.
   
Pakistan sentenced 10 men last month to life imprisonment for attempting to kill Nobel-prize winning school-rights activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012.  
 
Yet the country -- which witnessed one of the Taliban's worst school massacres in the northern town of Peshawar in December 2014 killing 153, mostly children -- was not one of the signatories to the declaration.
   
Other countries which did not sign included the US, Britain, France, Russia
and China.

Here is a video made by GCPEA to highlight the issue.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

The Swedish university where students tackle real-world problems

Ranked among the world's best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement