On the first International Day for Protection of Education from Attack, Education Above All (EAA) Foundation and its global partners are calling for an end to attacks on education, and for world leaders to safeguard this fundamental human right.

The call comes amidst the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education globally, particularly within conflict zones and fragile states.

International Day for Protection of Education from Attack 2

HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of EAA and an advocate of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, is calling on world leaders to place the protection of education on top of the global agenda. She said that it is vital to ensure that diseases of armed conflict and illiteracy do not spread further.

… I am pleased that the General Assembly has recognised the significance of this urgent issue and established an International Day to Protect Education from Attack. Our challenge now, as an international community, is to translate our vision of education for all from political will into real change on the ground.

The day could not come at a more critical time. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, children and young people living in the developing world faced almost daily assaults on their education – from air strikes to travel and employment restrictions, to flooding and natural disasters. Now, the pandemic places the fragile progress made across education under threat.

#UniteToProtect Global Campaign

Through its #UniteToProtect global campaign to mark the UN Day, EAA is calling attention to young voices around the world. Voices like Ra’ed, who gave up his dream of becoming a civil engineer in Syria to look after his family, but was given a chance at an education through a self-learning programme jointly delivered by EAA and UNICEF. And Charles, a young albino man from the Democratic Republic of Congo who fled with his family to Uganda when his father refused to sell his body parts to witch doctors. Continuing to face social stigma, Charles is determined to complete his education, so he can one day help protect the rights of other albino children like him.

HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has successfully advocated for the adoption by the UN of a resolution on ‘the right to education in emergency situations’, which affirms the right to education in crisis and conflict. Her work with Security Council members contributed to the formulation of Security Council Resolution 1998, which makes attacks on schools a ‘trigger violation’ for the UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism for Children and Armed Conflict.