On the International Day to Protect Education from Attacks which takes place on the ninth of September every year, SNHR confirms that at least 1,593 schools have been attacked in Syria by the parties to the conflict and the controlling forces since the start of the popular uprising for democracy in March 2011 up to this moment, distributed as follows:
– Syrian regime forces: 1,197
– Russian forces: 220
– ISIS: 25
– Hay’at Tahrir al Sham: three
– The Armed Opposition/ Syrian National Army: 35
– Syrian Democratic Forces: 11
– US-led Coalition forces: 25
– Other parties: 77
The Syrian-Russian alliance forces led all other parties in terms of attacking schools, accounting for 89% of all such attacks. We have also documented that the same forces have turned dozens of schools into military headquarters after looting their contents in a barbaric manner, which poses a serious threat and danger to education and educational facilities.
We stress that these attacks on schools deprive approximately 2.4 million children inside Syria from the education which is guaranteed by the Convention of the Rights of the Child, international human rights law and the provisions of international humanitarian law, with the armed conflict leaving thousands of parents reluctant to send their children to schools due to the deliberate targeting of schools and educational facilities by Syrian regime forces. Additionally, the phenomenon of child labor has increased as a result of extreme poverty and homelessness, in addition to the phenomenon of suicide.
The international community and the Security Council must take all possible legal, political and financial measures against the Syrian regime and its allies to put further pressure on them to commit and respect children’s rights, find mechanisms to end attacks and protect schools, and to work to create a safe learning environment. UNICEF must condemn the poor conditions of schools and issue warnings emphasizing the serious dangers facing schools in Syria in the current situation, mainly due to the Syrian regime’s practices, since these are the forces primarily responsible for such acts, with their personnel following a strict hierarchy, showing that attacks targeting schools are carried out on the orders of the highest-ranking regime officials.