Press release | Date: 20/05/2015 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hosting an international conference in Oslo from 28 to 29 May entitled ‘Protecting Education from Attack’. Foreign Minister Børge Brende will open the conference, and states represented at the conference will be encouraged to endorse a Safe Schools Declaration.
‘In countries affected by war and crisis, going to school can be one of the most dangerous things a child or young person can do. There are 28 million children in conflict areas today who are not able to go to school. We urge states to commit themselves to complying with the new Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
Military forces, armed groups and security forces have attacked thousands of pupils, students, teachers and educational institutions over the last five years, according to the report Education under Attack 2014. Schools have been attacked in 70 countries and military use of educational institutions has been documented in 25 armed conflicts.
Norway and Argentina, together with a number of other states and civil society actors, have led the efforts to draw up and promote the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict. The Guidelines will now be used to foster broader political engagement in the protection of children and education in conflict situations. This is part of our implementation of the white paper Education for Development, which sets out that Norway will play a leading role in promoting an enhanced international effort to ensure protection of children and education in crisis and conflict situations.
For more information, go to the conference website: www.safeschools.no
The conference is open to the press.
Press contact: Astrid Sehl, mobile phone: +47 92284752, [email protected]