On October 5-7, Watchlist participated in the “Workshop on Promising Practices in Protecting Education from Attack”, organized by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attacks (GCPEA) in Istanbul, Turkey. The workshop was attended by representatives from international and national NGOs, as well as the United Nations and government institutions coming from more than 10 countries where access to education is hampered by conflict. This was an opportunity to share and discuss effective practices to protect education from attack.

A wide variety of practitioners came to present in panel discussions on different types of practices, including the use of armed protection measures, physical barriers to attacks, school-based safety and security planning, negotiations with parties for greater compliance with norms on the protection of education, and conflict-sensitive and risk-informed programming. The panelists provided guidance on the conditions under which different types of practices are likely to have an impact.

Watchlist was invited to present as part of a panel discussion on monitoring attacks and military use of schools. It was an opportunity to explore how the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) can contribute to strengthening data collection on this type of violation. In particular, panelists highlighted the need for greater coordination between the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR), responsible for implementing the MRM, and the Education Cluster for the transfer of information and joint advocacy.

The key findings and conclusions of the Workshop will serve to inform two new products currently being prepared by GCPEA on school-based protection measures and steps that can be taken by ministries to protect education from attacks and military use.