The attack, which killed a father and daughter in front of an elementary school, is the latest in a string of violent acts connected to an ongoing decade-long conflict in the country’s south.
The bomb went off in Narathiwat province in southern Thailand as parents were dropping their children to school on 6 September. The blast killed a man and his five-year-old daughter and left eight people wounded. The motorcycle was parked opposite the school entrance.
EI: Deepest sympathy
“We are saddened by this terrible act and wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the victims’ family and their school community,” said Education International (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.
Over the years, EI has consistently condemned the murders of children and teachers killed in education environments.
In 2009, EI adopted a Declaration, ‘Schools Shall Be Safe Sanctuaries’, and has consistently urged the international community to act to prevent violations of the right to education, to ensure the safety and security of learners, teachers, education personnel and academics everywhere, and to strengthen international law and to end impunity.
Education a fundamental right
“Education must be recognised as a fundamental right no matter what the circumstances, and so the utmost must be done to protect schools and children's right to education,” van Leeuwen stressed. However, “the facts are different and regions are diverse but the bottom line remains: increasingly in conflict countries and fragile States, teachers and students are putting their lives at risk simply by turning up for lessons – because rebels, armed forces and repressive regimes consider schools, universities, students and teachers as legitimate targets.”
In Thailand, more than 6,500 people have been killed in insurgency related violence in the Muslim-majority provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani since the conflict began 12 years ago, according to Deep South Watch, which monitors the conflict.