Targeted attacks on school buildings and use of school premises as bases for attacks

Targeted attacks happen because schools are perceived as a symbol of the enemy (e.g. Afghanistan) or because they are used as bases for attacks or recruitment and are thus perceived as legitimate military targets (e.g. madrasas in Somalia). The use of schools as bases for attacks is usually associated with the occupation of the area by a party to the conflict. Schools are by then empty of students, but such attacks result in extensive damage to the buildings and leave behind the problem of unexploded ordinances after combats stop and the party vacates the premises.


Indiscriminate attacks damaging school buildings and active combats in the vicinity of schools

Active combat in the vicinity of civilian areas often results in hospitals and schools being damaged collaterally. This raises the issue of the necessary precautions mandated by IHL during combat operations. Such actions not only create extensive damage and long-term disruption of educational activities, but also leave behind the problem of unexploded ordinances that can kill or maim children (e.g. Uganda, Sudan, Colombia, Afghanistan).