July 15, 2024
Urgent appeal to protect education in emergencies

Conflicts, climate and environmental disasters and public health emergencies have a devastating impact on the right to education for millions of people. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges to fulfilling the human right to education were already enormous, with an estimated 35 million children worldwide living in displacement, and almost half of school-aged refugee children not attending school. [1]

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) mobilisation during this 2022 Global Action Week for Education (GAME) is a pivotal moment for education rights activists around the world. More than 100 countries, hundreds of local, national and international civil society organisations and millions of people from all corners of the globe are coming together to defend and advocate for the right to inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all people, to contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on education.

The #SAME2022 is perhaps more important than ever. GCE calls on states, world leaders and the international community to take the necessary steps to ensure education in emergencies, in line with the Protect Education in Emergencies Now! campaign. There are devastating examples of how the right to education is being violated for millions of people living in emergencies in every corner of the world. The most recent are the deliberate attacks on schools in Ukraine, but there are many others that we have been witnessing for years.

Yemen continues to suffer the impact of almost 8 years of war, in what is arguably the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, which has left an estimated 8.1 million school-age children without access to education [2]. Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, 2.7 million school-aged children are out of school, 240 schools are being used to accommodate displaced families and 2,500 other schools are damaged or partially damaged. In Bangladesh, 78{b930f8fc61da1f29cba34a8cbe30670691f63878f9c98a2d7d5d6527da1fb8f3} of young people report that their education has been affected by climate change, ranging from school dropouts due to flooding (25{b930f8fc61da1f29cba34a8cbe30670691f63878f9c98a2d7d5d6527da1fb8f3}) to the impact of having to travel to school (23 {b930f8fc61da1f29cba34a8cbe30670691f63878f9c98a2d7d5d6527da1fb8f3}) [4].

These crises are getting worse by the minute and children in emergency-affected regions need us to raise our voices!

A Week of Action!

On each day of SAME 2022, there will be a regional policy dialogue focusing on different aspects of education in emergencies. On the final day, Friday 29 April, the GCE Secretariat will host a high-level global event on education in emergencies, which will address issues of educational inclusion in contexts of displacement.

Below is more information on some of the events that will take place during SAME 2022:

Monday, 25 April 2022: The launch event for SAME 2022 in the Arab region will be a Regional Policy Dialogue on Education in Emergencies, organised by the Arab Campaign for Education for All. The event will start at 14:00 Palestine time / 15:00 CET. Link to register: https://bit.ly/GAWEACEA

Tuesday, 26 April 2022: On the occasion of SAME 2022, the Latin American region will hold a dialogue on Education in Emergency Contexts in Latin America and the Caribbean: Gender, Debt and Digitalisation, organised by the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education. The event will start at 11:00am Brazil time/ 4:00pm CET. Link to register: https://bit.ly/GAWECLADE

Wednesday, 27 April 2022: The Asia-Pacific region will host its SAME event entitled “Protecting Education in Emergencies Now: An Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue”, organised by the Asia South Pacific Association for Adult and Basic Education (ASPBAE). The event will start at 1:00 pm Manila time / 7:00 am CET. Link to register: https://bit.ly/aspbaegawe

Thursday, 28 April 2022: On the occasion of SAME 2022, the Africa region will organise a regional policy dialogue on Education in Emergencies in Africa, led by the African National Campaign for Education for All (ANCEFA). The event will start at 8:00am EST / 12:00 pm GMT / 2:00 pm CET. Registration link: https://bit.ly/GAWEANCEFA

Friday, 29 April 2022: On the last day of SAME 2022, the GCE Secretariat and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) are organising a global discussion entitled Ensuring Equal Access to Learning in Situations of Displacement: Measures to Combat Discrimination and Exclusion. The event will begin at 8:00 am EST / 2:00 pm CET / 8:00 pm Manila time. Link to register: https://bit.ly/GAWEGLOBAL

The Call to Action:

The Global Campaign for Education urges states to live up to the Protect Education in Emergencies Now! campaign slogan by implementing, among others, the following recommendations:

Protect education from attack by adhering to and complying with the Safe Schools Declaration, adopted in 2015.
Provide safe and accessible learning environments for all people in emergency contexts, without discrimination on the basis of gender, disability, race, ethnicity or any other factor.
Develop and implement crisis-sensitive national education plans and budgets, and promote equitable and sustainable inclusion of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees, stateless persons and internally displaced persons in national education systems.
Ensure protection and adequate formation and remuneration of teachers.
Promote truly transformative education to lay the foundations for peace.
Listen to the voices of those affected by emergencies – civil society organisations, communities, families, teachers – who are the first responders in such situations. Their experiences, perspectives and stories are critical and must be taken into account in the development and implementation of education plans and policies.

About the Global Campaign for Education (GCE)

GCE is a leading civil society movement that promotes and defends education as a fundamental human right. GCE has over 127 members, including 94 national education coalitions, 18 international NGOs, and 15 regional networks and youth-led organisations. GCE defines education as a basic human right that lays the foundation for all development and is a catalyst for growth. As an international organisation, GCE believes that education is the key to ensuring sustainable and equitable economic growth and improving health and social development.

For more information, please contact

Philani Ndebele
Communications Officer (GCE)
[email protected]
+27 11 447 4111


Urgent appeal to protect education in emergencies