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education is a human right

September 9 marked the first-ever International Day to Protect Education from Attack – a hugely important day for global SDG goals – marking a yearly moment where our united efforts to protect the human right that is the right to education can be evaluated and reinstated.

This newly added international day and its focus on protecting children in largely conflict zones the world over from not having access to education, is a bold and painful reminder that wars not only cause the destructions of entire regions and cultures, but also impact generations to come. As outlined by the UN itself, "a child’s right to education cannot be safeguarded in conflict zones without education itself being protected. Education can be a life-saver. Out of school, children are easy targets of abuse, exploitation and recruitment by armed forces and groups. School should provide a safe space where children can be protected from threats and crises. It is also a critical step to breaking the cycle of crisis and reduces the likelihood of future conflicts."

Welcome back to FairPlanet's weekly roundup. This week we're here to look at one of the cornerstones of the global SDGs: education. Read. Debate: Engage.

The good

a new day is formed! new resolutions signed!

While the reason behind the UN's latest inclusion of this International day is a dire reminder that the education of millions on children is under threat and thus our society's failure to equip them with the tools they need to enter adulthood, we must look at the positive side of the coming together of global nations to draw attention to this issue with the day, now marked on September 9.

As stated on the day's information page, "The day was established by a unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly, calling on UNESCO and UNICEF to raise awareness of the plight of millions of children living in countries affected by conflict. The resolution proclaiming the Day was presented by the State of Qatar and co-sponsored by 62 countries."

"UNESCO and UNICEF will facilitate the annual observance of the Day in close collaboration with partners within and outside the UN system. Working on the frontlines in conflict-affected countries, the UN entities have long assisted Member States in strengthening their capacity to provide access to quality educational opportunities for all in times of crisis."

Find out more about the International Day to Protect Education from Attack in the video below.

The bad

There are 75 million 3-to-18-year-olds living in 35 crisis-affected countries

This has only been exasperated by the global pandemic, where the often scarce educational support for under-served children in war-stricken countries or in areas of severe poverty and environmental disasters, has been impacted even further.

The UN's decision to add this new international day today, when the global north return back to school, is here to showcase the growing concern that the education right of millions is not being met. The day is here to "expresses concern over the effects of continued violence on these children and their ability to access education, whose consequences require special attention beyond the needs of learners whose establishments were temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Edumais for example is a non-profit organisation providing free, high-quality education to underprivileged children and teenagers in Rio de Janeiro. The organisation needs our support now more than ever as the communities it caters to face more interruption to the education of their children than ever before. Find out how you can help below.


Make high-quality education a reality for kids in favelas

by Yair Oded

EduMais provides free, high-quality education to underprivileged kids in Rio de Janeiro. Here's how you can help.
On global education
students brazil

Brazil is a little closer to a better public education

by Ellen Nemitz

Over the last decades, Brazil has been presenting poor performances in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a result of low investment

The devastating impact of the Sahel war on children

by Bob Koigi

As the protracted conflict in West and Central Africa continues unabated claiming tens of thousands of lives in the Sahel region, children have been caught in the middle, paying the ultimate price with their education being disrupted and their way of life altered as they come face to face with the killings and atrocities meted on their families.

Online education on the rise widens digital divide

by Ndubuaku Kanayo

"We are facing an unusual situation with a large number of countries affected by the same issue at the same time.", says UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Education Stefania Giannini as the coronavirus lockdown has exacerbated inequalities in education. African youths remain the least connected as around 60% have no existing digital footprint.
child, africa

Safeguarding children rights in the wake of COVID-19

by Bob Koigi

Covid-19 is a wake up call to policy makers to reflect on concrete and sustainable models that will insulate children from future crises.
Country focus

Brazil is the largest spanning country South America, and shares a border with the 10 out of 12 nations who make up the continent. With a population of 208 million people, Brazil is one of the world's largest democracies. With a geographic area that spans half the length of the continent and fluctuates between jungle, forests, beaches and agricultural grounds, Brazil's population is as diverse as its lands.

Since the early 2000s, the country has gone through massive economic growth, becoming the most powerful nation in South America and taking 29 million people out of poverty by 2014 as inequality drastically declined. It is known for its vast share of the Amazon, and must now step up to the challenge of protecting this precious land.

Much like many nations across the world, Brazil is also experiencing its own rise of the far-right, with its recently elected President Jair Bolsonaro, who is advocating many conservative and draconian policies.