Studies, Reviews and Research

Education Under Attack in Syria

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Save the Children

More than half of all attacks on schools worldwide in the last four years have occurred in Syria, according to Save the Children analysis, compounding the humanitarian crisis that has already forced four million Syrian refugees to flee to camps in over-crowded surrounding states, or onwards towards Europe.

This study brings to light how schools inside Syria have been indiscriminately bombed, destroyed, commandeered by armed groups, or turned into weapons caches or torture centers.

There have been more than 4,000 attacks on schools inside Syria over the past four years, with a staggering 51 recorded attacks on schools supported by Save the Children in the past eighteen months alone. This situation is damaging not only to these children’s future prospects, but also to peace, stability and prosperity in the region

Children are at increased risk of human rights abuses by parties to the conflict, as education can help protect children from recruitment and sexual violence by armed groups, and children are at greater risk of being drawn into the worst forms of child labour and early marriage. During times of conflict and insecurity, maintaining access to education is of vital importance for children’s protection and development. When schools are safe from attack and other threats, they can provide an important sense of normalcy that is crucial to a child’s development and wellbeing, and can also help provide important safety information and services.

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Education in emergencies

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