Forced displacement occurs when individuals and communities have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of, or in order to avoid the effects of, armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights, epidemics, or natural or human-made disasters (Global Protection Cluster 2010, page 137).
In 2015 there were 65.3 million people living in forced displacement due to conflict and persecution (UNHCR 2016). The figure includes those who have fled across borders (refugees) (23.1 million), those who have stayed within their own countries (Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs) (40.8 million), and stateless persons (3.2 million). Children under 18 years constitute half of the refugee population. Similar data for IDPs is unavailable.
Access to quality education is very limited for displaced children and youth. Refugees are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children. At least 3.2 million refugee children and adolescents remain out-of-school. Only 1 in 2 refugee children are enrolled in primary school, and only 1 in 4 are enrolled in secondary school. Less than 1% of refugee students are enrolled in tertiary education (UNHCR 2016).
Ensuring the right to education for forcibly displaced children and youth is a concern central to the field of education in emergencies.
States have committed to Sustainable Development Goal 4, aiming to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. SDG4 contains a commitment to supporting people and countries affected by conflict, and to ensure that education is maintained during emergency, conflict and post-conflict situations. It explicitly commits to education for refugees and IDPs, which will help to ensure that displaced children become systematically more visible and accounted for in education planning and monitoring in the coming years.
The INEE Education Policy Working Group serves as a platform to support the development of resources on topics related to education for forcibly displaced populations.
Some knowledge gaps and emerging themes are:
The INEE Education Policy Working Group co-organized an international conference sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and INEE, which was held in Berlin on 2 November 2016. This conference brought together international humanitarian and development actors to take stock of their engagement, discuss challenges and effective approaches, identify synergies, and strengthen partnerships for education and skills development in contexts of forced displacement.
Please see here for more information about the conference and materials, including the full meeting recording.
IIEP, together with UNHCR, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Education Above All’s Protecting Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) programme organized an e-Forum which brought together 473 participants from 86 countries, including education officials, humanitarian and development partners, refugees and IDPs, and teaching staff. Participants discussed challenges and identified effective strategies to support Ministries of Education in planning for displaced populations.
Please see here for the e-Forum report summarising the discussions.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have the potential to support, enhance, and enable education for the most marginalized. The INEE Education Policy Working Group, together with partners, organized a webinar on ICT for education in emergencies to share emerging research from two landscape reviews on ICT for Education in Conflict and Crisis and on Technology for Refugee and IDP Education, which were launched at the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week in 2016. The webinar discussed promising results and lessons learnt regarding the use of ICT for education in contexts of forced displacement.
Please see here for more information about the webinar, including the full recording.
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