“Schools and Armed Conflict” (HRW report)
Human Rights Watch publicou hai un mes un informe, dunhas cento sesenta páxinas, centrado na influencia dos conflictos armados recentes sobre as escolas (frecuentemente obxectivo ou base de operacións de exércitos e outros grupos armados). O informe leva por título “Schools and Armed Conflict: A Global Survey of Domestic Laws and State Practice Protecting Schools from Attack and Military Use”. Copio un extracto da súa introducción:
[…] In many countries around the world, the ability of children to obtain an education in a safe and nurturing environment is being disrupted by armed forces and non-state armed groups who attack schools or who occupy and use schools for long periods. This report examines the laws and practices of 56 countries around the world, and evaluates global progress on ensuring that schools and other education facilities are protected during times of conflict.
The bombing, shelling, and burning of schools imperils the lives and wellbeing of students, teachers, and education administrators. It destroys important infrastructure and education materials. The occupation and use of schools by security forces and non-state armed groups also make school buildings vulnerable to attack from opposition forces. Students attending classes alongside troops in occupied schools are often exposed to physical, sexual, and verbal abuse from the troops within the school. Apart from the physical effects, the destruction of schools infrastructure can also result in trauma, anxiety, and despondency.
Moreover, attacks on buildings dedicated to education are not just attacks on buildings; they are an attack on the right to education as these attacks can lead to children dropping out of school, reduced school enrollment, lower rates of transition to higher education, and poorer educational outcomes.
And it is not just the schools that are directly affected that suffer. An attack on one school creates an environment of fear and insecurity that often leads to the closure, for weeks or months, of other nearby schools.
During situations of conflict and instability, education can be both life-saving and life-sustaining. When provided in a safe and protective environment, attending school can provide an important sense of normalcy crucial to a child’s development. Schools can also be a center for life-saving information and services, such as mine-awareness and HIV prevention. Importantly, ensuring future generations are well educated is vital for overcoming conflict, aiding recovery, and ensuring future development and security. Attacking or militarily occupying schools puts all this at risk.
Schools and other education facilities are protected under two bodies of international law: international humanitarian law and international human rights law. International humanitarian law, or the laws of war, provides protections for civilian objects such as school buildings from all parties to an armed conflict. International human rights law, which is applicable at times of war and peace, provides for the right to education. These international legal protections are frequently violated during armed conflicts, particularly during so-called non-international (internal) armed conflicts between states and rebel groups.
Between December 2008 and June 2011, schools were attacked in Afghanistan, Burma, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), India, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, and Yemen.
During the same period, government forces or non-state armed groups used or occupied schools in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, India, Libya, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, and Yemen.
Reducing attacks on school buildings and minimizing disruptions of the educational environment by forces using schools for a military purpose does not require changes to the international legal protections, but a genuine commitment by countries to addressing the problem. This can be done by the enactment of domestic laws that place greater legal weight behind the international standards and ensuring better implementation and enforcement.
Prosecuting in domestic courts those on both sides who violate the law is critical. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) already lists attacks on education buildings that are not military objectives among war crimes during both international and internal armed conflicts. But the ICC is a court of last resort, stepping in only where national authorities are unable or unwilling to conduct investigations and prosecutions. The ICC’s jurisdiction is also limited to its 116 member countries, unless a non-member has temporarily accepted the court’s jurisdiction or a non-member is referred to the ICC by the United Nations Security Council. […]
A continuación poño dous vídeos feitos para a campaña do informe (ver máis no canal en YouTube de Human Rights Watch)…
Este segundo vídeo de presentación so dá un exemplo de entre os centos de conflictos olvidados polos mass media, o que ten lugar no Estado de Bihar (India)…
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