Act To Protect: Guidance Note on Attacks Against Schools and Hospitals

Every child has a right to education and health. But when conflict means the end of learning for millions of children; when health services break down or access is denied; when easily treatable diseases become deadly, we must act.

“We have seen it, we know what it is, and now we have to stop it, to tell the world who is responsible for these acts and to work together to use the tools we have to prevent and stop these horrible acts which can scar children for a lifetime,” said Special Representative Leila Zerrougui.

In 2011, by adopting resolution 1998, the Security Council gave the United Nations a mandate to identify and list, in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict, the armed forces and groups who attack schools or hospitals, or protected persons in relation to schools and hospitals. The resolution asked listed parties to conflict to work with the United Nations to prepare concrete, time-bound action plans to end and prevent the violations. This is crucial to ensure children can enjoy their rights to education and health and that violators no longer enjoy impunity.

With our partners, we are strengthening our capacity to monitor and report incidents affecting children’s right to health and education in situations of conflict. We are also enhancing our advocacy and dialogue with perpetrators to put a stop to these violations.

On May 21, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, is launching a Guidance Note on Attacks against schools and hospitals to help ensure that everyone involved in monitoring, reporting and advocacy is equipped with the best tools to end and prevent attacks against schools and hospitals.

You can watch the video of the event here

The world has denounced the recruitment of child soldiers; the world has decried sexual violence in conflict. We now have to condemn and take action against attacks on schools and hospitals with the same strength and conviction.