By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Children across 10 countries have called on world leaders to ensure paths to schools are free of mines and explosives.
The children made this known yesterday in their manifesto during the Safe Schools Conference.
The Children’s Manifesto, is being launched as world leaders meet for the 4th International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration in Nigeria.
For the first time, the Conference is being held in Africa, a continent that has some of the highest rates of attacks on education in the world.
The Conference is being co-hosted by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), of which Save the Children is a member, in cooperation with the African Union and the governments of Norway, Spain and Argentina.
The Children’s Manifesto paints a grim picture of how children face threats and violence while at school, and focuses on the intense fears felt by children in response to these attacks.
In the Manifesto, the children write:
Children are scared – when armies come to schools, arrest children or fire live or rubber bullets at them and when tear gas is used.
Children are scared – when there are no shelters in their schools or when they are not big enough to protect everyone.
Children are scared – when military equipment passes outside the windows of their schools or houses, and when they hear the sounds of explosions and gunfire.
Children are scared – when educational institutions are used for military purposes, subjecting young boys and girls, teachers and technical staff at school to constant danger.
Attacks on education and the military use of schools and universities increased by a third globally in 2020, according to data released by the GCPEA last month.