International Day To Protect Education From Attack

The International Day to Protect Education from Attack is an international holiday observed annually on September 9th. It is a day that raises awareness about attacks on schools, teachers, and students during armed conflict.

It also raises awareness about the use of schools for military purposes. Another purpose of this day is to involve everyone in protecting the right to education and the continuation of education in armed conflicts.

Attacks on schools and children can negatively affect the future of entire generations of children, and that is why it is important for all of us to get involved, no matter where in the world we live.

The History of the International Day to Protect Education from Attack

Throughout history, some warring factions have launched deliberate attacks against schools, teachers, and students. This has occurred in countries such as Afghanistan, Chad, Syria, Yemen, and many others.

To help bring these attacks to an end, the United Nations General Assembly created this holiday in 2020 to protect education from attack. The holiday was co-sponsored by 62 countries, as well as by UNICEF and UNESCO.

Facts About Attacks on Education

To illustrate the importance of protecting education around the world from attack, we have listed some facts that put everything in perspective. We came up with the following facts while researching this holiday, and we think they are extremely important to the conversation.

  • In both 2020 and 2021, there were over 5,000 reported attacks on education and/or incidents of military use of universities and schools.
  • More than 9,000 students and educators in 85 countries were harmed. That equates to 6 attacks on education every single day.
  • More than 1,000 students were kidnapped from schools in Nigeria between December 2020 and September 2021.
  • In 2020 and 2021, the military occupation of schools and universities more than doubled from the previous two years.
  • In seven countries, sexual violence at or en route to/from school was reported.
  • The countries that reported sexual violence were Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Turkey.
  • Attacks on education continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, military usage of schools during this time increased by a third.

Observing International Day to Protect Education from Attack

People all over the world can participate in this holiday and help children in the process. They can observe this day by donating to organizations that support child education, raising awareness about the seriousness of attacks on schools, teachers, and students, and assisting underprivileged children with their studies. People can spread the word about this holiday online using the hashtag #InternationalDayToProtectEducationFromAttack.

When is it?
This year (2024)
September 9 Monday
Next year (2025)
September 9 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
September 9 Saturday
Awareness & Cause, United Nations