CHARM-EU joins the awareness-raising of International Day to Protect Education from Attack on the 9th of September 2023

Two children reading a books in a forest

"Places of education should be safe havens for children, students and education personnel." (UNICEF, UNESCO, n.a)

In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared the 9th of September as International Day to Protect Education from Attack. Education is a human right and the greatest tool to improve one's life. For people caught up in emergencies, education can provide a sense of stability and is the key to a different future. With the knowledge, skills and support gained through education, generations survive crises and lead the world toward a sustainable future. It is particularly true for groups that risk exclusion and discrimination, including girls and women, people, refugees, and people with disabilities, among others. Places of education should be safe for everyone learning, teaching, and serving the community. However, they often become direct targets or collateral damage in conflict-affected contexts.

CHARM-EU joins the global awareness-raising and mobilise efforts to support worldwide access to and participation in education. Acknowledging and tackling structural barriers, reducing exclusion, and working towards joint global human rights-based solutions are important. As part of CHARM-EU's work on inclusion and diversity, we reiterate our commitment to providing welcoming, inclusive teaching and learning spaces and appropriate support for our students and community. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to talk about their work and what more needs to be done to make education a reality for people worldwide.


The crucial role of education

Education is a human right and the greatest tool to improve one's life. Education offers a ladder out of poverty and a path to a bright future. It reflected on the importance of learning for peace and development. The Day strengthens and encourages individuals, civil society, and governments to take concrete steps towards making education and places inclusive and safe for everyone.

According to the UN, from January to December 2022, there was a 112 % increase in attacks on schools and hospitals, particularly in Ukraine, Burkina Faso, Israel, the State of Palestine, Myanmar, Mali, and Afghanistan. It led to greater child casualties and damaged schools and hospitals. Over the past six years, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack collected over 13,400 reports of attacks on education or military use of educational facilities worldwide – with more than 25,000 students, teachers, and academics injured, killed, or harmed in attacks carried out in situations of armed conflicts or insecurity. The Resolution affirms that everyone, including various stakeholders and organisations, is primarily responsible for providing protection and ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels to all learners, especially those risks at exclusion. Efforts and increased funding are needed to promote safe and protective school environments everywhere, especially in humanitarian emergencies, by taking all feasible measures to protect schools from attack, refrain from actions that impede children's access to education, and facilitate access to education in situations of armed conflict. (UNICEF, State of Palestine, 2022)


CHARM-EU's commitment to foster safe and inclusive education.

CHARM-EU’s organisational culture and how we interact with one another affects the integrity of the CHARM-EU’s academic and workplace environments. Our values and principles are implemented across our activities, community, and stakeholders and we work towards a climate of respect, accountability, honesty, and integrity in the community, as described in one of our core values. In CHARM-EU, we recognise that all stakeholders must engage step by step to realise the design, implementation and monitoring of inclusive and quality education. We acknowledge that various structural barriers, including stigma and discrimination, remain a huge obstacle to social inclusion and access to education. Throughout the work of the CHARM-EU Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office, alongside relevant units within the CHARM-EU partner universities, we are committed to enhancing inclusive curricula design and welcoming, safe and and inclusive teaching and learning environment for everyone.


Join us to raise awareness by using the hashtag #ProtectEducationFromAttack on social media. Find more information by visiting the following link: International Day to Protect Education from Attack | United Nations




Credit: This contribution was prepared by Enikő Bíró, a student volunteer (ELTE BGGYK) and Agnes Sarolta Fazekas-Vinkovits, CHARM-EU Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team Leader (2019-2022) (2023-).