As of 2019, at least 12.6 million school-age children (3–18 years old) were internally displaced due to conflict or violence. These numbers are likely an underestimate with many internally displaced children unaccounted for due to lack of data. The periods of internal displacement are becoming longer, with years becoming decades and internally displaced children spending the majority of their school-years displaced. The majority of these children do not have access to quality, safe and inclusive education due to discrimination, financial, legal, and insecurity barriers.
The five country case studies (Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine) in this report demonstrate that adopting legal and policy frameworks is not enough to uphold the right to education for internally displaced children. Challenges to implementing these policies are linked to institutional, financial, political, and cultural factors.
We call upon the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement to take up our 12 recommendations in its final report to the Secretary General to ensure that the education and wellbeing needs of internally displaced children are urgently acted upon.