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The Right to Education Denied During Conflict

Many conflict zones exist throughout the world, the realities of which often infringe upon basic human rights such as education. Most recently, the conflict in Syria has been at the forefront of global news. According to a Human Rights Watch report released in early June 2013, the government of Syria and opposition forces have engaged in practices that threaten the lives of students, teachers, and school officials and endanger the learning environment. The report documents the accounts from interviews of students, educators, and parents of schoolchildren caught in the ongoing and protracted armed conflict in the country.

Schools have been fired upon and used as military barracks and detention centers. Students have been interrogated, beaten, and attacked for their alleged participation in the conflict. The report details other practices that are making schools too dangerous to attend, denying many children and youth their right to education. As a result, communities and activists across the country have started informal community schools and clandestine learning programs, but they lack of resources. Other repercussions include girls as young as 16 entering into marriage for economic and physical safety.

For More Information:

Human Rights Watch press release (accessed 18 July 2013)

Safe No More: Students and Schools Under Attack in Syria (Human Rights Watch, accessed 18 July 2013)

Attacks on Education (ACEI Advocacy into Action statement)