Over the last few months, Watchlist has continued its advocacy on attacks and military use of schools in the Central African Republic (CAR) in Washington DC, Geneva, and Paris, targeting donor governments, United Nations agencies and representatives, and humanitarian organizations. This advocacy is based on Watchlist’s most recent Field Monitor Report, Vulnerable Students, Unsafe Schools: Attacks and Military Use of Schools in the Central African Republic.
With around 60 percent of CAR’s population made up of children and youth, restoring educational institutions is critical to stable governance and lasting peace. Moreover, education will play a critical role in supporting children who are demobilized and released from armed groups. Most of the humanitarian funding for education has been dedicated to short-term interventions and the bulk of that funding will end early next year.
During the advocacy visits, Watchlist raised the importance of donors supporting children’s access to safe and secure learning environments, as well as the importance of donors taking a longer-term perspective on the restoration of the education sector. Watchlist also discussed with humanitarians and UN agencies the importance of raising the profile of attacks on schools, strengthening ways to monitor and report on this issue, and taking steps to ensure education programming responds to ongoing security concerns.
In light of the recent surge in violence in CAR, Watchlist is waiting for an opportunity to safely return to Bangui to further disseminate the report and discuss the findings.