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27 October 2021 - News

The Abuja Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration

Safe Schools Declaration

Today is the last day of the Abuja Conference, the 4th International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration, held in Nigeria and online on 25–27 October 2021.

This is a biennial conference with the overarching aim of taking stock and reviewing progress in the implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) and the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict, as well as encouraging commitment and action in protecting education from attack. 

Save the Children is a member of GCPEA (Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack), who is hosting the conference along with the governments of Nigeria, Spain, Argentina and Norway. This conference has been a great opportunity for Save the Children to advocate for children’s protection, their right to access education safely, and their right to be heard.

Although the conference takes place in Abuja, Nigeria, the issue of safe schools is relevant to many countries around the world, including Ukraine.

In many conflict-affected countries, schools are used by the military and armed groups, for example as camps or weapon storage. Because of this, the following takes place:

  • children are being denied access to their school and their right to education is taken away from them;
  • schools become targets by the other side of the conflict and as result students and teachers can come under attack.

The Safe Schools Declaration is a commitment from governments around the world to keep schools, students and teachers safe in times of conflict.

Countries have promised to improve national laws to make sure laws and policies at the country level keep children and schools safe and collect information and data as understanding the problem will ensure that our solutions are good and meet the specific needs in a country.

In this video, children, living along the contact line, are speaking about their experience of studying during the conflict and the importance of safe education for every child.