While the UK Government welcomes the spirit of the Safe Schools Declaration, we remain concerned that the accompanying Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military use during Armed Conflict do not mirror the exact language of International Humanitarian Law.
Under International Humanitarian Law, the UK already affords schools and educational establishments a high degree of protection during military operations. We take these international obligations very seriously and believe better implementation of, and compliance with, International Humanitarian Law by all parties to armed conflict provides the best protection for civilians, including children. For this reason, the UK Government has not signed the declaration.
The UK Government will, however, continue to keep this policy under review.