Strengthening the protection of education during armed conflict

A) Objectives of the pledge:

Safeguarding education during armed conflict is critical to prevent violence and to build the basis for lasting social cohesion and economic reconstruction and development. Students, education providers, schools and universities are generally protected as civilians and civilian objects under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). States’ practice also indicates that children affected by armed conflict are to be given special respect and protection. Access to education is also fundamental to the realization of children’s human rights.


This pledge is based on our shared concern regarding attacks – targeted or incidental – that affect students, teachers and educational facilities during armed conflict, and with the fact that the use of educational facilities for military purposes, for instance as barracks, bases or weapons stores, may cause them to lose protection under IHL. It is also based on our conviction that more can be done in practice to better protect education during armed conflict within the framework of IHL.


This pledge complements other ongoing initiatives aimed at strengthening the protection of students, teachers, schools and universities from attack, including the Safe Schools Declaration, through which states are committing to better protect education during armed conflict and to use the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict that provide an additional reference tool for parties to armed conflict to address issues related to protecting education.

B) Action plan:

We hereby pledge that in the years 2015-19, we will:

Include the protection of students, education providers and education establishments in activities, discussions or dialogues related to national or international policy and practice around armed conflict.

Support efforts to develop, disseminate and universalize good practices that better protect education from attack and safeguard the civilian character of educational facilities, including the Safe Schools Declaration and the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict.

Promote and participate in initiatives aimed at strengthening the protection of civilians and civilian objects, and of children and youth in particular, in the context of education, at national, regional and global levels, including facilitating that education tools like “Exploring Humanitarian Law” as well as first aid training, are made available to schools.

C) Indicators for measuring progress:


D) Resource implications:


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