From 25 to 27 October 2021, the 4th International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration was held in Abuja, hosted by the Government of Nigeria, together with the Governments of Argentina, Norway, Spain, as well as the African Union Commission and the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA).
The three-day Conference was an opportunity for states to galvanize action on protecting education in armed conflict by taking stock of progress by states in endorsing and implementing the Safe Schools Declaration and its related Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict, sharing good practice in advancing the commitments in the Declaration, and encouraging greater collaboration across borders to ensure that all students and educators can learn and teach in safety. A major outcome of the Conference was the adoption by the UN Security Council of a first of its kind resolution – S/RES/2601(2021) – strongly condemning attacks against schools and urging safeguarding of right to education.
In preparation for the conference, the Regional Education in Emergencies Working Group prepared an Advocacy Note on Attacks on Education in WCA, providing a comprehensive overview of the regional situation, the impact on schooling and learning for children and youth (host community, internally displaced and refugee children) and outlining a number of recommendations to improve the protection of education and the continuity of learning in conflict situations.
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees