“Safeguarding the right to education and ensuring the safety of schools in war-affected areas are key priorities.” said the Vice Foreign Minister, Marina Sereni, speaking at the webinar on “Children affected by Armed Conflict: safeguarding their right to education and ensuring schools are safe”, who added: “Covid-19 is exposing children in armed conflicts to further threats, preventing them from accessing education in war-torn areas and thus making them even more vulnerable.”
“Ensuring education,” Vice Minister Sereni explained, “is a powerful tool for promoting peace and preventing conflict, as stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is therefore a moral imperative to put an end to the unacceptable violations of children's rights in war zones. Yesterday we celebrated the International Women's Day, an important occasion to reflect on the challenges we still face in terms of women's empowerment. But the fight for this goal also includes ensuring that girls and young women have access to education.”
“Italy believes it is necessary to involve the international criminal justice system, in order to stop the violence against young and very young people in armed conflicts. Indeed, we must take concrete action if we really want to achieve greater respect for international humanitarian law and human rights, and at the same time safeguard schools in areas affected by armed conflicts. Italy, alongside the United Nations and all other stakeholders, intends to promote effective and coherent solutions to protect children and make sure they have a better future. But we must act quickly, because – Vice Minister Sereni concluded – the pandemic is worsening an already very negative picture.”
The event, on the margins of the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, was organised by the Universities Network for Children in Armed Conflict, in collaboration with the Italian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.