Armed conflicts chase children out of schoolsgeriaFrom MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – PROTECTING schools from attacks and military use is essential to ensuring access to education for all children in Africa, a United Nations child rights envoy has said ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit.
The event is set for Istanbul, Turkey on May 23 and 24 amid estimations some 59 million children are out of school. Of these, 30 million live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Leila Zerrougui, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, mentioned the devastating impact on schooling posed by such sects as Boko Haram in West Africa among issues of concern ahead of the summit.
“Schools in the Central African republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan have been looted, pillaged, damaged and destroyed during military operations, putting the future of an entire generation at risk,” said Zerrougui.
Attacks against schools and their military use have become a common aspect of today’s conflicts, with long-term consequences, especially on fragile education systems.
The Special Representative emphasized the heavy burden placed on communities and post-conflict societies to rebuild or repair schools and bring back skilled teachers.
World Humanitarian Summit is an opportunity to generate new commitments to ensure that conflict does not mean the end of learning for millions of children.
– CAJ News
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