The Second International Conference on Safe Schools will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 28 to 29 March 2017 and will be the first international meeting on the subject since the adoption of the Declaration on Safe Schools and the Guidelines for the Prevention of Military Use of Schools and Universities During Armed Conflict at the First International Conference on Safe Schools in Oslo in May 2015.
The Safe Schools Declaration is an inter-governmental commitment to protect students, teachers, schools, and universities during armed conflicts. The Declaration was conceived through a consultative process led by Norway and Argentina, and was opened for endorsement at the First International Conference on Safe Schools held in Oslo, Norway, on 29 May 2015.
States that subscribe to the Declaration make a commitment that includes: improving reporting on attacks on education; investigate and prosecute possible war crimes involving schools; and quickly restore access to education when schools are attacked.
The endorsed countries also commit to the Guidelines for Preventing the Military Use of Schools and Universities During Armed Conflict, a non-binding practical tool that provides guidance to help parties to a conflict limit their actions with respect to the military use of schools and Universities, thus helping to safeguard the civil character of these facilities.
Since 2005, armed forces and armed groups have used schools and universities for military purposes, such as bases, barracks, firing positions, weapons depots and detention centers in at least 26 countries affected by armed conflict around the world. By turning schools into military objectives, the safety of students and teachers is put at risk and restrict access to education.
The Second Conference will be a key global moment to refocus attention on the issue of attacks on education, and also provides an opportunity to review progress since the Declaration was adopted, share examples of good practice at the national level, and prepare for work ahead on this issue to ensure effective implementation of the commitments contained in the Declaration.
A limited sponsorship programme is available for countries listed by OECD DAC as ODA recipient. For more information and application, please contact UNDP in Geneva - Ms. Simona Chladkova at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that requests for sponsorship must be submitted no later than 1 March 2017.