Use of school premises by military/police

This includes actions such as the use of schools as police stations and military barracks (e.g. Nepal, Philippines), as grounds for military training or as detention centres (e.g. Nepal). Such actions, while taken in the absence of students on the grounds, have a long-term negative impact on education, not only because they interrupt normal school activities, but also because premises run the risk of losing their civilian status, should they make an effective contribution to military action. This risks exposing them to future damage or destruction by retaliatory attacks.

Use of schools as recruitment grounds for military, political and military activities

There have been reports of raids on schools during class hours to forcefully recruit child soldiers (e.g. DRC, Somalia, Colombia), but also forceful recruitment of school children for political rallies and demonstrations (e.g. DRC, Nepal) and the organization of civic-military activities for students, such as “study trips” to military bases (e.g. Colombia). In the specific case of Burma/Myanmar, primary schools run by the military are used as a stepping stone for the recruitment of adolescents into army ranks. These schools actually include pre-military training in their curriculum for children aged 6-11. Such schools are effectively a semi-formal way of recruiting child soldiers.

Use of schools as venues for political activities

This includes actions such as the use of school premises for party meetings (e.g. Nepal), the use of schools as polling stations in the context of tense elections (e.g. Afghanistan). While such actions do not violate IHL, they put schools at the centre of political rivalries that typically spark violent clashes among armed groups and risk making such areas vulnerable to attacks.