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Education Brief 8: Sustainable Development Goal 4 and Refugee Education


“ We have a collective responsibility to ensure education plans take into account the needs of some the most vulnerable children and youth in the world – refugees, internally displaced children, stateless children and children whose right to education has been compromised by war and insecurity. These children are the keys to a secure and sustainable future, and their education matters for us all.” António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a new development agenda,
Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, launching 17 globally endorsed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs ) to be met by 2030.

UNHCR has been actively engaged in the SDG 4 planning and roll out at the global level.
Along with five other UN agencies and the World Bank, UNHCR was a co-convenor of the World Education Forum (WEF) in Incheon, Korea, May 2015 and participated in the drafting of the Education 2030: Framework for Action. As a co-convenor of the WEF, UNHCR is committed to working closely with government counterparts and partners to progress towards the SDG 4 goal and targets by 2030. As a result of UNHCR’s influence at the global level,
SDG 4 policy documents reflect a crisis-sensitive approach to education and make specific reference to refugees.

The launch of SDG 4 for education for all by 2030 represents a critical window of opportunity to ensure that refugees and stateless children and youth are visible and accounted for in the next 15 years of education sector planning, development and monitoring at national and sub-national levels. This brief provides a short introduction to SDG 4 and how it relates to education for refugees, as well as practical guidance on how to advocate for refugees in national education sector planning and management to achieve the education SDG 4.