Armed Conflict: Schools

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th June 2015.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Labour, Ilford North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if the Government will (a) sign the Safe Schools Declaration and (b) support implementation of that declaration in countries where armed conflict is taking place.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The intention of the Safe Schools Declaration is for countries to endorse the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military use During Armed Conflict. While we support the spirit of the initiative, we have concerns that the Guidelines do not mirror the exact language and content of International Humanitarian Law. We consider that the full implementation of International Humanitarian Law provides the best protection for civilians in all situations of armed conflict. The UK and several other countries therefore did not sign the Safe Schools Declaration in Oslo in May.

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