Moving towards integration: Overcoming segregated education for IDPs - Case study on education and displacement in Georgia
Internally displaced children have the same right to education as other children; this right cannot be suspended even in emergencies. Yet in reality, many internally displaced children struggle to go to school. Even when they do have access to education, they are often taught apart from local students, for example in separate schools or at different times in the same school. Segregated schooling for internally displaced children may violate their human rights as defined in a number of international norms, especially as the period of displacement grows. This briefing paper addresses the legality and appropriateness of segregated educational systems for internally displaced children, observing that while they may be appropriate in initial phases of displacement, the need to integrate schools becomes more pressing as displacement continues.
The paper aims to guide policy makers, including governments of countries facing internal displacement and international actors supporting them, by examining legal and policy considerations for determining the appropriateness of segregated education. It outlines the international legal framework on segregated education, noting that while segregation may be an appropriate response in the emergency stages, it is not permissible as a long term solution.
The paper takes as a case study the situation in the Republic of Georgia. The situation there illustrates the complexity of issues facing those responsible for the provision of education to internally displaced children, and both good and bad practices which arise. Finally, it recommends practices to promote the integrated education of IDPs in any displacement situation.