News and Events: Press releases

Media Advisory: Education under attack

A global study on targeted political and military violence against education staff, students, teachers, union and government officials, and institutions
Who:   Brendan O'Malley, Author of the report
Fatema Mushtaq, Director of Khorasan Learning Center in Ghazni City, Afghanistan
Tahir Al-Bakaa, Former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Iraq
Mark Richmond, UNESCO Director for the Coordination of United Nations Priorities in Education

What:  Fatema Mushtaq, who ran secret schools for girls under the Taliban and received repeated death threats because of her work as director of education in Ghazni district; and Tahir Al-Bakaa, former minister of higher education in Iraq, a country where the tertiary system is being torn apart by mass killings in bomb blasts, assassinations and death threats, address the political violence targeting educational systems in their countries. The panel will discuss possible responses, including greater use of human rights instruments to deter violence and more effective efforts to ensure that schools become safe sanctuaries in conflict areas.

When:  Thursday November 8, 2007 10:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.

Where: Conference room 8 UN Secretariat

To RSVP please contact:  Natalia Casado  (212)-963-5985
For media queries please contact: Suzanne Bilello (212) 963-4386

ABOUT THIS REPORT: The number of reported targeted attacks on students and educational staff and institutions appears to have risen dramatically in the past three years. Incidents include the bombing, assassination, abduction, illegal detention and torture of staff, students, education officials and trade unionists, the bombing and burning of educational buildings, and the closure of institutions by force. They also include the forced recruitment of child soldiers and the enlistment of children under 15, as well as the threat of any of the above.  For report consult

ABOUT UNESCO:   The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)  is a Specialized Agency that promotes international co-operation among its 193 Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues; assists Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields and works toward a global vision of sustainable development based upon observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty.

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