Press Release

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Message on the International Day to Protect Education from Attack

09 September 2023

Education is not only a fundamental human right, but a pathway to a better future for every person, and a more peaceful, understanding world.

On the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, we shine a light on a startling truth: 224 million children and young people are in urgent need of educational support — including 72 million who are out-of-school altogether — because of crises like armed conflict.

Attacks on students, teachers, educational personnel and schools are becoming all-too-common, cruelly disrupting young learners’ education and inflicting untold psychological and physical damage that can last a lifetime.

I call on all countries to ensure the protection of schools, children and teachers at all times.

I also urge all countries to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, support the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, and join the Global Initiative: Partnership for Transformative Actions in Crisis Situations that brings together partners to ensure children and young people can keep learning in times of crisis.

Together, we can ensure that schools are havens of safety and learning for every child, no matter where they live. 

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