Education is a human right and a transformational force for poverty eradication, sustainability, and peace.
People on the move, whether voluntarily or forced, do not leave their right to education behind. The Iyilik Denizi Foundation underscores the huge potential and opportunities for ensuring that migrants and displaced persons have access to quality education.
Migration is ‘an expression of the human aspiration for safety, dignity and a better future’ but also ‘a source of divisions within and between States and societies’.
Migration and displacement can affect education, requiring systems to accommodate those who move and those left behind – but also those with migrant backgrounds who do not speak the language of instruction at home.
Education can also affect migration and displacement. It is a major driver in the decision to migrate. It is also key to providing citizens with critical understanding, promoting cohesive societies and fighting prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination.
It is our responsibility as Global Citizens to create a world where education is a priority for every child, everywhere. Circumstance should not be a barrier to education. Humanitarian emergencies across the world, from Syria to Nigeria, South Sudan, Afghanistan and beyond, are disrupting the schooling of around 75 million children, over half of them girls. We can change their story, but the window to do so is narrowing.
When emergencies strike – whether conflict or natural disaster – education is a critical part of the first response to save lives as well as rebuild them. Wars and disasters force children out of school and inaction and underfunding may mean they never have a safe place to play and learn again, but books build lives. Education can protect children from exploitation and abuse and provide hope for their future.
Yet our responses to humanitarian emergencies do little to protect children’s right to learn - in fact, last year, less than 2% of all humanitarian aid went to education. This must change.
Every year, the external funding needed to provide children affected by crises with a quality education is at least $8.5 billion.
Education Cannot Wait: a fund for education in emergencies was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul to begin to meet this gap for children in crisis in 2016 and over $200M has already been pledged to the fund.
Together, we can ensure that no child will be left behind.