Protecting Education from Attack: A Call for Improving Data Monitoring and Policy Response

Virtual side event to the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum

The event will be entirely virtual, with simultaneous translation provided in English and French. Please register here, by Tuesday, 5 July, to participate. The event will also be livestreamed on UN Web TV.


Attacks on education have harrowing effects, ranging from tragic deaths on account of damage to physical infrastructure, psychological injuries and threats that lead to school disruption and loss of learning over time. Long recognized by the international community in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Right to Education obliges Member States to ensure its protection, respect, and fulfilment for all. In contexts of armed conflict, this inalienable human right has been further reiterated and reinforced by international humanitarian law and other prominent soft law mechanisms and tools, such as the Safe Schools Declaration and its guidelines, which aim to protect schools from military use. However, as it stands, the right to education is denied for many conflict-affected children and other vulnerable populations who fall victim to attacks on education. To this end, much needs to be done to ensure stronger evidence-based policies and conducive environments at the national level for the effective implementation of international legal frameworks.


Organized in the margins of the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), the virtual side-event will underscore the need for Member States to ensure full protection of the right to education in times of armed conflict, and will particularly aim to enhance government capacities to formulate and implement evidence-based policies on attacks on education within national data systems to better guide their actions towards realizing SDG 4. More particularly, this virtual event will bring together UN Member States, UN agencies and education stakeholders to highlight key challenges and promising practices around the following objectives:

  •  Inform key stakeholders on data, policy measures and tools needed to strengthen national capacities in order to effectively review, respond, prevent, and mitigate occurrences of attacks on education and military use of schools to better deliver and accelerate progress towards SDG 4.
  • Identify linkages for Member States to strengthen national action on data collection and analysis on attacks on education as enhanced data collection and management will allow for better-informed robust policies to prevent, mitigate and respond to attacks on education and ensure educational continuity for all during times of peace and war.
  • Promote greater quality and institutionalization of attacks on education data into national education systems to foster greater national ownership and increased harmonization and integration into education sector policies and plans. This will further enable the inclusion of the most vulnerable populations in crisis contexts while bridging the humanitarian-development divide in delivering education for all.
  • Secure further introduction of tools especially designed to assist refugees and vulnerable migrants, in particular Qualifications Passport for Refugees as a recognition tool particularly designed for these individuals.
  • Identify key recommendations on how to engage with international actors and mechanisms and optimize national actions in line with ongoing preparations for the Transforming Education Summit (TES), which aims to strengthen and accelerate the implementation of existing multilateral agreements, particularly the 2030 Agenda framework, and galvanize action towards meeting SDG4 goals at the national and global levels.


This virtual event is co-organized by Belgium, Malta, Norway, the State of Qatar, Gabon, UNESCO and OSRSG-CAAC.


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at or

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

It is a sad reality that in situations where armed conflict breaks out, it is the most vulnerable members of societies – namely children, who are most affected by the consequences of war. The six most common violations are recruitment and use of children in war, killing, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access.

On 19 August 1982, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the General Assembly, “appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression”, decided to commemorate 4 June of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to protect the rights of children. Its work is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history.

Following the ground-breaking Graça Machel report, which drew global attention to the devastating impact of armed conflict on children, in 1997 the General Assembly adopted 51/77 Resolution on the Rights of the Child. To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance, visit


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit