Schools in Ukraine

Hostilities in eastern Ukraine have damaged or destroyed hundreds of schools, many of which were used by parties to the conflict for military purposes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released earlier this week. The 65-page report, “Studying Under Fire: Attacks on Schools, Military Use of Schools During the Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine,” documents how both Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed militants have carried out deliberate attacks on schools. Both sides have used schools for military purposes, deploying forces in and near schools, which has turned schools into legitimate military targets. The destruction has forced many children out of school and many schools to stop operating or to operate under overcrowded and difficult conditions. The government of Ukraine should protect children’s safety and access to education and deter military use of schools by endorsing and carrying out the International Safe Schools Declaration. Russian-backed militants should also avoid using schools following the principles reflected in the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict. This happens way too often. It seems every country that has been in conflict at some point involve the military use of schools. This cannot proceed any longer. It is affecting civilians who want nothing but to make it through the day. How would you feel if your school was being used as a military base?

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