Syrian boy reads a torn paper inside his destroyed school classroom © AP / Reporters
Syrian boy reads a torn paper inside his destroyed school classroom © AP / Reporters

Statement | Education International condemns Turkish aggression in Syria

published 17 October 2019 updated 6 November 2019

The global education union federation draws attention to the long-term consequences of the Turkish military action in Syria for students and educators in the region.

David Edwards, Education International General Secretary, stated: “EI condemns the Turkish military operations in North East Syria launched by President Erdogan and causing unacceptable human suffering and casualties among Kurdish people. The global trade union movement stands for the promotion of peace, the respect of human rights, international humanitarian law and democracy. EI condemns the use of armed forces, in the absence of sanctioned multinational UN operations, in particular against civilians and public service infrastructure like education and health institutions. EI and its member organisations continue to raise awareness of the serious humanitarian and refugee crisis in the region and call on global leaders to effectively address this situation, in particular as regards migratory flows in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

The consequences of the violence on schools in the region are terrible, with the education of thousands of children disrupted and no end in sight. Schools are being used as shelters for the thousands of displaced people. The provision of education is a fundamental right and should be a priority everywhere.

Furthermore, the crisis is not limited to Northern Syria. The refugee influx is already causing strain on services and infrastructures in Kurdistan. This will exacerbate existing tensions and vulnerabilities which will increase the need for education and other essential services.

Education International calls for an immediate end to the military aggression so that the people of the region can finally begin the reconstruction process after so many years of war.