UNICEF Says Attacks On Syrian Schools Must Stop

Last year there were as many as 68 attacks on schools in Syria which ended up killing and maiming students as well as threatening the ability of children affected by the conflict to study and have a normal daily routine says aid agency UNICEF. This is one of the great tragedies of the Syrian civil war and there is an urgent need to do something about it.

Some schools have had to shut down

Hanaa Singer, UNICEF’s Syria representative says the ongoing civil war has forced some schools in Syria to shut their doors, particularly in rural areas outside Aleppo and in the local government areas of Deir-ez-Zour and Raqqa. This has resulted in the disruption of education of as many as 670,000 children who are of primary and lower high school age.

Education is a right for all children

Ms. Singer adds that in addition to schools being closed down, attacks on students, teachers and schools are further horrific examples of the awful price the country’s children are paying in a crisis which is now entering its fifth year. Ms. Singer says that education is a right that all children must have regardless of where they live or how difficult the circumstances are.

Schools should be a safe haven

Schools are the only means of structure, routine and stability that Syrian children have and are in need of more than ever during times of horrific conflict. This means they should be respected as safe havens for children and act as zones of peace, so that children can learn without having to worry about death or injury.

Some of the attacks may have been deliberate

UNICEF data shows that last year alone there were 68 attacks on Schools in Syria, killing and wounding hundreds of children according to reports. It is believed that the real number of attacks, death and injuries is much higher and there are indications that some of the attacks may well have been deliberate.

“UNICEF has repeatedly called upon all parties to the conflict to uphold their responsibility to protect children, schools, and other civilian infrastructure from the conflict – a call we repeat with even greater urgency as a new year begins with children in Syria still facing the most terrible threats to their safety, well being and their education.”

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