(The Independent) – In conflicts raging across the world, the extremity of violence against children has increased. Every day, innocent lives are lost and many more altered irrevocably, with children often the direct targets of attacks intended to cause maximum civilian casualties, terrorise communities and provoke outrage worldwide. In the midst of such shocking violence, children are in desperate need of protection, and interventions to keep them safe must be prioritised. Education offers a vital source of safety and hope for children, allowing them to learn, play and escape the horrors of war. During my time as Special Representative and on trips to gather evidence on children in armed conflict, I have seen children taking extraordinary steps to continue their schooling – travelling many hours across conflict lines, braving snipers and soldiers, abductions and arrests. I have also seen entire families leaving everything behind because their children no longer had a safe school to go to.