As the war in Syria continues, with fighting in the countryside of Hama and Idlib and in the province of Deir az-Zour, political and financial elites circle the remains of Syria.
Imagine going to a school where every day you hear bombs exploding. Imagine riding your bike to class past thousands of rounds of unexploded ordnance, blown out buildings and land mines.
This is just part of everyday life for the girls and boys living on the Contact Line in the Ukraine. For the past five years, the Contact Line has been ground zero in a war that separates Government Controlled Areas and Non-Government Controlled Areas, and affects over 700,000 school children, adolescents and teachers in over 3,500 educational facilities.
LONDON – This Human Rights Day (December 10) marked the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sadly, events over the past few years show that the world is failing to uphold the commitments enshrined in that document, particularly when it comes to protecting children.
In May, now-ousted U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the start of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy to separate migrant families at the Mexican border. “If you are smuggling a child” into the country, he said, “then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law.” In just six weeks, more than 2,600 children were taken from their parents or other adults. Although a federal judge ordered the government to reunite all children with their families by July 26, hundreds likely still remain in U.S. custody. And the psychological trauma inflicted is likely to cause lifelong damage to these children, experts say.
Figuring out how children themselves are responding to trauma tends to be particularly difficult, because they may not be able to communicate how they feel. For decades, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has worked with tens of thousands of children in struggling, often war-torn nations around the world who are suffering from what’s called toxic stress — a relentless cycle of trauma, violence and instability, coupled with a lack of adequate care at home. In some cases, the IRC has used drawing to help children open up or as a way to process their trauma. The drawings here, from IRC projects in Cambodia during the genocide, in Sierra Leone and Uganda in the early-2000s and in Jordan just last year, show what it’s like to endure displacement, violence and separation, through the eyes of the children themselves.
Balochistan, a province embroiled in conflict, also facing some of the worst human development indicators in the country, embarked on a journey to improve education outcomes for girls in some of the remotest of its villages. This bold agenda is supported by a Global Partnership for Education grant of USD 34 million implemented by World Bank and has reached more than 700 schools in the province and 53,000 children.
The third edition of the Investing in the Future (IIFMENA) conference under its banner ‘Youth - Crisis Challenges and Development Opportunities’, has witnessed key solutions to integrate refugee youth with the help of education to become useful citizens for themselves and for their host countries, at a panel discussion titled ‘Youth in Conflict & Peacebuilding’, held on the first day of the conference (Wednesday) with a key conference partner, UNHCR.
The skinny boy says he’s 12, though he looks years younger. He points to a crayon drawing he created this summer, when he arrived at a U.S. government-supported childcare center in Raqqa, Syria.
With the destruction of educational facilities, homes and major population displacement, there are multiple priorities and major challenges in education for the Iraqi Government. One of the main tasks is rebuilding the infrastructure as many schools and educational facilities have been heavily damaged and others are not up to the standards that the country aspires for its children and young people. Another huge task is to update and replace outdated teaching equipment, learning materials and curriculums that are currently used throughout Iraq to catch up with the rest of the world.
The Prioritizing Education in Conflict Zones Act will amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Its goal is to provide U.S. foreign aid to improve and expand education for children in areas of conflict. It will support primary and secondary school for displaced children and will ensure that women and girls are included in the instituted educational programs.
Julio 2018 - Enfrentados con la escasez de presupuesto y la violencia de las pandillas, los educadores hondureños buscan mayor protección y apoyo, con el respaldo de ACNUR, debido a la violencia que enfrentan tanto los estudiantes como los maestros, que van desde la agresión sexual hasta el asesinato. Además, algunos de los padres de los alumnos están encarcelados, mientras que los maestros se enfrentan a extorsiones y amenazas.
Con el apoyo de ACNUR, los maestros han comenzado a trabajar para mejorar la seguridad y las condiciones en las escuelas. Primero, ACNUR les está ayudando a desarrollar medidas de protección y protocolos de seguridad tanto para el personal como para los propios estudiantes. Están creando redes de comunicación entre ellos y los administradores escolares para informar problemas y advertencias para proteger a los maestros y estudiantes.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2427 on July 9, during the Council’s annual Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict (CAC), held under the presidency of Sweden. The debate followed publication of the Secretary-General’s 2018 annual report on CAC, published on June 27, which documented a 35 percent increase in grave violations in 2017, as compared with the previous year. Following the adoption, the Council was briefed by Ms. Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; Ms. Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and Ms. Yenny Londoño, a civil society speaker representing a Group of Youth Advisers in Colombia. Ninety-one state delegations, representing approximately 116 countries, delivered statements during the Open Debate, which was overall positive in tone.
From 10 to 13 July, the Department of Education at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) hosted the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Conflict-Sensitive Education (CSE) Training of Trainers. The event, which marked the first stage of a global capacity-building programme to enhance the delivery of conflict-sensitive education, brought together over 30 senior education practitioners, policymakers and academics from United Nations (UN) agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world.
The Novak Djokovic Foundation has done important work for a number of years in improving education for children in a historically war-torn country – Serbia. Now, through the Children of Peace initiative, the EU too is aiming to ensure that children in emergency situations across the world can still receive the education they need and deserve.
With the sudden increase of arrivals, hundreds more refugee and migrant children are becoming stranded in Greece with critical needs such as education and protection, says UNICEF.
More people arrived in the first three weeks of August than all of July 2016 (1,920 for July; 2,289 as of 24 August). This new influx comes at a time when Greece is struggling to cope with a strained welfare system due to the ongoing economic crisis, leaving refugee and migrant children facing a double crisis. In total, children make up nearly 40 per cent of the current stranded population. For children this waiting is an eternity - many from conflict torn countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq have missed out entirely on education or lost years of schooling and are held back yet again.
The life of a child in Aleppo has become even more dangerous in recent weeks, as intense attacks and fighting escalate across the city. At a time when children are at even greater risk of bombardments and fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic, education has become another casualty. Schools in Aleppo have come under attack, with many occupied by fighters and left destroyed or damaged.