IASC Briefing on Protecting Education in Emergencies

19 March, 2024

©UNICEF/ UNI498551/Filippov

An IASC briefing on protecting education from attack will be held on 19 March 2024. It will look at the state of attacks on education globally, the challenges and responses related to the protection and provision of education in conflicts, practical measures and good practices that can be replicated to better protect education from attack during armed conflict, and measures to be taken by parties to an armed conflict to fulfil their international obligations.

Attacks on education occur in many countries affected by armed conflict and insecurity. Patterns of attacks on education by both state security forces and non-state armed groups exist in at least 37 countries globally. (GCPEA)  

Armed conflict has a devastating impact on children’s access to education, as well as affecting students’ and teachers’ health and socio-emotional wellbeing in a variety of ways. In many conflicts, schools are attacked, looted, and used for military purposes. Students, teachers, and other education personnel are often threatened, abducted, attacked, or prevented from accessing classrooms. In 2022, the UN reported 1,163 attacks on schools, noting a 112 percent increase in the number of attacks on schools and hospitals as compared to the previous year1. Students and teachers may be specifically targeted because of their actual or perceived gender identity, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or other intersectional identity factors, and their access to schools is obstructed by both State armed forces and non-State armed groups.

This briefing will be an opportunity to discuss the criticality of protecting education from attack, the entities operating in this domain, the norms protecting education, as well as about what more needs to be done to save lives and protect education from attack.



1Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (A/77/895-S/2023/363), June 5, 2023, https://www.undocs.org/s/2023/363.