The 8th World Congress of Education International (EI), meeting in Bangkok from 21st to 26th July 2019, expresses profound concern at the continuing impact of the global refugee crisis on the world’s children, young people and adults.
(1) The 8th World Congress of Education International (EI), meeting in Bangkok from 21st to 26th July 2019, expresses profound concern at the continuing impact of the global refugee crisis on the world’s children, young people and adults.
(2) Congress notes that:
(i) 68.5 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide, of whom 25.4 million are refugees ( https://www.unhcr.org/uk/figures-at-a-glance.html);
(ii) 85% of refugees are hosted by countries in the global south ( https://www.unhcr.org/uk/5b27be547.pdf);
(iii) 52% of refugees are under the age of 18, with 7.4 million being of school age ( https://www.unhcr.org/uk/news/latest/2018/8/5b86342b4/four-million-refugee-children-schooling-unhcr-report.html);
(iv) 4 million refugee children do not attend school at all ( https://www.unhcr.org/5b852f8e4.pdf);
(v) The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by 196 countries worldwide, states in article 28 that every child has the right to good quality education.
(3) Congress welcomes:
(i) The efforts of teacher and education support staff trade unions around the globe to support their members to deliver quality education for refugee children;
(ii) The role refugee teachers (and education support staff) play in the delivery of quality education;
(iii) The efforts of teacher and education support staff trade unions to work with national and international partners to deliver practical education assistance to meet the needs of refugee children and those displaced by force or natural disasters;
(iv) EI’s work in supporting teacher and education support staff trade unions to respond to the refugee crisis, including its work in the Middle East North Africa and European regions through the Education4Refugees projects in UK, Germany, Italy and Spain in partnership with the Open Society Foundations.
(4) Congress urges EI and its member organisations:
(i) to continue to work with campaigns and initiatives working to support refugee children and their families in accessing high quality education;
(ii) to maintain pressure on national governments and on international institutions, with reference to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to:
(a) prioritise financial assistance for the education of refugees, people displaced by force or natural disasters, and those in need of international protection;(b) enable refugee teachers and education support staff to continue exercising their occupation in their new country (in accordance with the universal principles and values set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights);
(iii) to facilitate support/learning for teacher trade unions on how to respond to the impact of the refugee crisis in their countries/education systems and improve their education systems in order to guarantee the universal right to education without exclusions.