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Save the Children Calls on Senate to Protect Education for Children Living in Conflict

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Media Contact: Media@savechildren.org

WASHINGTON (October 18, 2019)—Save the Children is urging members of the U.S. Senate to take a vital step in protecting the education of children living in conflict by co-sponsoring S. Res. 360. Introduced in the Senate on Thursday by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and a companion to H. Res 277, this resolution commits to meaningful action for the protection of children living in conflict and the safeguarding of their futures.

Access to safe and quality education is key to securing children’s futures. But in times of war, children’s education is often disrupted, leaving them without critical support for learning, growth and stability. According to analysis published this year by Save the Children, in 2017, 420 million children—nearly one in five children worldwide—was living in an area affected by armed conflict.

In conflicts around the world, schools are being deliberately bombed, torched, destroyed and occupied. Students and education staff are threatened, killed, raped, kidnapped and recruited by armed groups at and on the way to school.

Unique challenges faced by the most marginalized children, including refugees and girls, further impede their access to learning and increase their exposure to violence and exploitation.

At a time when tens of millions of children are out of school due to conflict, Senate Resolution 360 calls on the U.S. government to take 12 critical steps, including to:

  • hold perpetrators of attacks on schools, students, and teachers accountable
  • support policies and programs to return refugee girls and boys to learning as soon as possible
  • monitor attacks on schools, students, and teachers to support coordinated diplomacy and programs

Education in emergencies is lifesaving and lays a foundation for a better future. It creates spaces where children can feel safe, learn crucial skills, and begin to recover from trauma. Quality education for children can contribute to peace and security and mitigate factors that would lead to future violence.

“Every child deserves a quality education,” said Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children.

“It is unacceptable that children are missing out on this basic right because of conflicts they had no hand in creating.

“As I’ve watched the horrific events in Syria this week, I’ve been thinking of a young girl I met earlier in 2019 who had spent a year out of school due to the danger of shelling. She now attends a makeshift school for displaced children and told me: ‘now I am back on track for my dream, which is to be a teacher someday. I know if I can go to school I can do it.’

“We are calling on members of Congress to support Sen. Murphy’s resolution in the Senate and House Resolution 277 led by Reps. Lowey and Chabot in the House, so that these children can continue to safely access education and return to learning and their dreams for the future.”

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.