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International Day to Protect Education from Attack 2021 – September 9

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International Day to Protect Education from Attack 2021The United Nations (UN)’s International Day to Protect Education from Attack is annually observed across the globe on September 9th to create awareness about the importance of preserving education and protecting it against attacks.

The day also aims to create awareness about the difficulties faced by millions of children living in countries affected by military conflicts.

  • 9th September 2021 marks the observance of the 2nd International Day to Protect Education from Attack. 


i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/74/275 on 28th May 2020 and proclaimed the 9th September of every year as the International Day to Protect Education from Attack.

ii.The resolution was presented by the state of Qatar and co-sponsored by 62 countries.

iii.The annual observance of this day is facilitated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) and United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) in collaboration with the partners within or outside the UN system.

iv.The first-ever International Day to Protect Education from Attack was observed on 9th September 2020. 

6 Grave Violations:

The first resolution on children and armed conflict adopted by the United Nations Security Council  in 1999 identified and condemned six grave violations that affected children in times of war, they are,

  • Attacks against schools or hospitals
  • killing and maiming of children
  • recruitment or use of children as soldiers
  • sexual violence against children
  • abduction of children
  • denial of humanitarian access.

Key Points:

i.In the last 5 years, more than 22000 students, teachers and academics were injured, killed or harmed in the attack on education during armed conflicts.

ii.93 countries have reported at least one attack on education between 2015 and 2019.

iii.Between 2015 and 2019, in 34 countries the schools, universities and other educational institutions have been used by the armed forces and armed groups for military purposes.

Efforts to Protect Education from attack:

Education under Attack:

UNESCO commissioned a study titled “Education under Attack” in 2007, the first study on targeted political and military violence Against Education Staff, Students, Teachers, Union and Government Officials, and Institutions.

Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA):

i.Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), a unique inter-agency coalition was formed in 2010 to address the problem of targeted attacks on education during armed conflict.

ii.UNESCO is a core member of GCPEA(link is external)

Safe Schools Declaration:

i.The Safe Schools Declaration, an inter-governmental political commitment to protect students, teachers, schools, and universities from the worst effects of armed conflict

ii.It was launched in May 2015 at the Oslo Conference on Safe Schools: Protecting Education from Attack.  As of June 2021, 109 states have endorsed it.