The right to education for children in emergencies

This paper presents the key international legal instrument relevant for education, their use and links with policy frameworks and tools being developed by the humanitarian community to address education rights of children in conflict and emergencies. It describes the current thinking around the right to education in emergencies and why education is a central right to uphold from the onset of a crisis. It gives a brief introduction to how education can meet the international legal standards, as well as the international policy frameworks, such the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All. A continuous case study focuses on Cote d’Ivoire and how the right to education fared in the conflict of that country between 2000 and 2010. The paper looks at issues of enforceability and applicability of the right to education in emergencies, highlighting challenges and mechanisms at national, regional and international levels. The role of the InterAgency Network for Education in Emergencies’ (INEE) Minimum Standards for Education as well as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s (IASC) Education Cluster is discussed, again with specific reference to Cote d’Ivoire, and the centrality of existing monitoring and reporting mechanisms for child rights violations are highlighted. Bringing together all of these elements in one place and making a strong case for the use of both humanitarian and human rights law in securing the right to education in emergencies is what this article brings to the discussion, arguing that the Convention of the Rights of the Child must be seen as the most central instrument.

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