from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THE African Union Commission (AUC) and non-governmental organisations are alarmed at the degree and scope of attacks prevailing despite progress achieved in protecting education from attacks.
The AUC Department of Political Affairs Peace and Security, the Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development and Save the Children International reflected on the trends as the global community marked commemorating the second International Day to Protect Education from Attack.
In May 2019, the United Nations General Assembly designated September 9 as the day to mark the commemorations.
AUC and the abovementioned organisations lamented that attacks against education represents one of the six grave violations committed against children.
“Despite progress achieved in protecting education from attack, the extent and scope of attacks remain disturbing,” the organisations stated.
They cited findings by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA).
The inter-agency coalition that addresses the problem of targeted attacks on education during armed conflict has documented a systematic pattern of attacks on education in more than 37 countries, and military use of schools and universities in 34 countries, between 2015 and 2019.
Research has shown that female students and teachers were directly targeted for attack because of their gender.
These attacks have been carried out through the bombing of girls’ schools, abductions, rape and harassment in at least 21 countries.
Armed forces and groups were also reportedly responsible for sexual violence in, or on the way to or from, schools and universities in at least 17 countries.
“This is not tolerable at all and must be stopped through the collaboration of all stakeholders,” AUC and the non-governmental agencies stated.
– CAJ News