For information only – not an official document

8 September 2022

The Secretary-General

Message for the International Day to Protect Education from Attack

9 September 2022

Education is a fundamental human right and an essential driver for achieving peace and sustainable development.

Unfortunately, this right continues to fall under attack, especially in conflict-affected areas. In 2020 and 2021, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack reports over 5,000 attacks and cases of military use of schools and universities. More than 9,000 students and educators were killed, abducted, arbitrarily arrested, or injured. The majority of victims were women and girls.

These attacks deprive millions of vulnerable learners from accessing education and increase the risk of sexual violence and child recruitment by armed groups. They must stop immediately. Classrooms must remain places of peace and learning.

I welcome steps taken by many countries to protect educational institutions and those who need them, and I urge all Member States to endorse and implement the Safe Schools Declaration. International Law and International Humanitarian Law obligations must be respected. We must pursue monitoring, investigate all attacks and hold perpetrators to account.

As we mark the International Day to Protect Education from Attack and look forward to the Transforming Education Summit, let us act together to guarantee safe education for all.

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