Input for report on child and youth human rights defenders

Written by Caren Thomas, Ioana-Sorina Alexa and Luna Plet.

This report is a Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on on child and youth human rights defenders in The Netherlands.

Have child and young human rights defenders played an active role in the civil society of your country?

Yes. There are many examples of such child and young human rights defender initiatives, including but not limited to the following:

The Dutch National Youth Council1 (Nationale Jeugdraad) focuses on educational rights and advocates for fair treatment, quality education, and equal opportunities. They also advocate for meaningful youth participation in sustainable development and climate change. The organisation has run its program for almost 20 years and is one of the most robust youth representations at a formal international level.

Youth Climate Movement2 (Jonge Klimaatbeweging – JKB) was the first youth organisation to negotiate for the Dutch Climate Agreement and even integrated elements of the Youth Climate Agenda into the Climate Agreement. Several JKB-initiated resolutions on climate regulation have been adopted in Parliament.

Youth for Human Rights in the Netherlands3 (Jongeren voor Mensenrechten Nederland) is part of the International Youth for Human Rights movement. They focus on education and awareness initiatives to promote understanding and respect for human rights among young people.

Youth for Climate the Netherlands4 organised a major climate strike in Utrecht in May 2023.

For the first time, youth representatives were invited to share their views regarding urgent challenges young people face during forming a new Dutch cabinet in spring 2021. They were organised as Coalition-Y and the Jongeren Denktank Corona crisis.

You can download the full report in this link.



1 About NJR, NJR.

2 Jonke Klimaat Wellbeing.

3 What is youth for human rights?, Youth for Human Rights.

4 Youth for Climate NL, Youth for Climate.

Report on persons with albinism and the right to education

Written by Caren Thomas and Daphné Rein.

This report is a Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on persons with albinism and the right to education in France.

Image by Babar Ali from Pixabay

Data on persons with albinism

Please provide statistics and information on persons with albinism in your country.

According to the Genesis NGO in France, there are 5,700 persons with albinism in France, including 4,500 persons with oculocutaneous albinism and 1,200 persons with ocular albinism1. 2% of the French population carries the gene, which means that 1,200,000 persons have the gene2. These numbers are from 2014 and are the only statistics and data available in France. Otherwise, there are no statistics from national sources.

Please provide any data on persons with albinism in the education sector, be it primary, secondary, or tertiary level.

As of yet, there is no data regarding persons with albinism in the education sectors in France. Genespoir has ascertained that 80 babies are born each year with albinism in France1. Therefore, we can deduce that each year, 80 persons join the education sector in France.

You can download the full report in this link.



1 Genespoir. “L’albinisme : une maladie rare.” Dossier de Presse. October 2014. p.4 < >

2 Genespoir. “L’albinisme : une maladie rare.” Dossier de Presse. October 2014. p.4

3 Genespoir. “L’albinisme : une maladie rare.” Dossier de Presse. October 2014. p.4

Input for a report on promoting human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals through transparent, accountable and efficient public service delivery

Written by Caren Thomas, Olimpia Guidi and Sterre Merel Krijnen

This report is a Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the state of the issue for India, The Netherlands, New Zealand and Venezuela.

What are the main challenges identified in your country/region about public service delivery?


The main challenges with regards to education as a public service delivery include marginalisation of communities, funding in schools, public-private partnership model, capacity within educational institutions, quality standards, student-teacher ratio and lack of infrastructure are commonly encountered.

The Netherlands

The first challenge is the teacher shortage, causing a practical barrier to the equal delivery of quality education. In the academic year of 2021-2022, primary education experienced a lack of 9.2%, specialised primary education a shortage of 15.6%, secondary education a deficit of 23.1% and specialised secondary education a need of 9.7%. Compared to the preceding year, the scarcity was exacerbated except for technical secondary education.1 The insufficiency has repercussions for learning opportunities through class disruptions, employment of inadequately qualified instructors, and discontinuing of certain subjects.2 This impacts students disparately: schools in larger cities with a more complex student population face higher shortages than the average percentage.3

New Zealand

The main challenges to education as a public service delivery include intercultural education, indigenous communities and its educational policies, child poverty, COVID-19 educational implications and challenges in disability education initiatives.


Venezuela’s enduring economic crisis has left an indelible mark on its educational system. Characterised by hyperinflation, currency devaluation, and a scarcity of resources, this crisis has taken a toll on schools. Beyond crumbling infrastructure, students often attend classes without desks or chairs due to severe funding shortages. The scarcity of textbooks, school supplies, and even necessities like paper and pencils has become the norm, significantly compromising the quality of education provided to the students.

You can download the full report in this link.



1 Van Aalst et al. (2023). De Staat van het Onderwijs. Onderwijsinspectie. 30-31.

2 Onderwijsraad. (2023). Schaarste schuurt. Onderwijsraad. 7.

3 Van Aalst et al. (2023). De Staat van het Onderwijs. Onderwijsinspectie. 30.

Educational Challenges in Qatar

Written By Anna Moneta

Qatar’s history

Qatar, once a modest Gulf state, has undergone a remarkable transformation into a global economic powerhouse, largely attributed to the discovery and exploitation of oil reserves in the mid-20th century. The revelation of oil beneath Qatar’s arid desert sands in the early 1940s marked a pivotal moment, catapulting the nation into a dominant position in the global oil and natural gas markets. This economic ascent is intricately linked to Qatar’s historical ties as a British protectorate, formally established in 1868 with interactions dating back even earlier. [1]

The British, leveraging their extensive experience in oil resource management in the Gulf, played a crucial role by providing technical expertise and guidance for oil drilling and export infrastructure. This collaborative effort laid the foundation for Qatar’s thriving oil industry, enabling the nation to capitalize on its newfound resource wealth. However, the influence of British colonialism extended beyond economic realms, permeating into Qatar’s educational system. The British presence, which included military corps and colonial workers engaged in the oil industry, prompted the emergence of an educational system designed to cater to the children of both Qatari nationals and British colonial workers. This collaborative initiative led to the establishment of the Ministry of Education in 1956, shaping the trajectory of Qatar’s educational landscape. [1]

Today, Qatar stands among the world’s wealthiest nations, largely driven by its revenue from oil and natural gas. Nevertheless, the legacy of colonization raises pertinent questions about the enduring impact on the country’s educational framework. As we explore Qatar’s historical evolution and the complexities of its educational system, it is crucial to address contemporary concerns. The World Bank, in particular, underscores issues in early childhood development (ECD) outcomes in Qatar, shedding light on deficiencies in self-regulation skills and early literacy and numeracy skills among young children. [2] These concerns, despite economic progress, pose potential long-term consequences by impeding crucial brain development, adding a new layer of complexity to the narrative of Qatar’s historical and educational journey.

Qatar’s school system

Qatar’s educational landscape is characterized by a diverse system that includes both public, government-operated schools and privately-run institutions, each offering distinct curricula and languages of instruction. The prevalence of international curricula in many private schools has sparked discussions about the enduring influence of British colonialism on the nation’s education.

Government schools in Qatar are structured into three levels: primary school, serving students between the ages of 6 and 12; preparatory school, accommodating those aged 13 to 15; and secondary school, catering to students between the ages of 16 and 18. Additionally, for younger children, there is a range of options including nurseries for those aged 0 to 3, and kindergarten or preschool for children aged 3 to 5, providing flexibility based on individual needs. It is important to note that associated costs can vary significantly, typically ranging from QAR 15,000 to QAR 40,000.

In higher education, institutions in Qatar are classified as private, national, or branch campuses. The University of Qatar, established in 1973, stands as the oldest higher education institution in the country. Offering a diverse array of programs at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, the university encompasses faculties of engineering, social sciences, education, Islamic studies, humanities, and sciences. The presence of these higher education institutions further enriches Qatar’s educational landscape, contributing to the nation’s academic and intellectual growth.

Issues arising from Qatar’s colonial history.

Postcolonial theorists, exemplified by scholars like Hickling-Hudson (2006), provide a critical lens through which to examine the lasting impact of colonialism on education systems in former colonies. One of their central arguments revolves around the deliberate under-resourcing of education by colonial powers as a means of perpetuating control and exploitation of local populations.

The British presence in Qatar necessitated the establishment of an educational system to cater to the children of both Qatari nationals and British colonial workers. This early system laid the groundwork for Qatar’s educational landscape. Thus, when the nation embarked on its journey of economic transformation fuelled by oil wealth, its educational foundations were influenced by its colonial past. [3]

The postcolonial argument put forth posits that colonial powers intentionally kept education under-resourced in their colonies. This tactic was not merely neglect rather; it was a calculated strategy to exploit local populations. In fact, by depriving colonized peoples of adequate education, colonial powers could maintain control and perpetuate socio-economic inequalities. [3] The 2015 OECD study, which ranked Qatar in the bottom 10 of its educational index, hints at the implications of such deliberate underinvestment.

The correlation between Qatar’s colonial history and its educational challenges becomes apparent when considering the consequences of insufficient educational resources. While Qatar has made remarkable advances in various sectors, including infrastructure and healthcare, its education system has faced persistent disparities in terms of quality and access. These disparities are a reflection of the historical under-resourcing of education, an issue that postcolonial theorists emphasize.

Educational Challenges

The 2015 OECD ranking serves as a stark reminder of the enduring impact of this historical underinvestment. Qatar’s educational system, despite the nation’s substantial wealth, lagged in international assessments.

A significant development in Qatar’s education landscape has been the proliferation of private international schools, particularly in the last three decades. These schools cater primarily to Western expatriates and offer curricula in languages such as English, French, and German. While these institutions have contributed to Qatar’s educational diversity, they have also exacerbated disparities. Students attending private international schools often receive what is perceived as a higher quality education, leading to unequal opportunities in terms of academic performance and prospects. This educational divide raises questions about equity and access within the Qatari education system.

One further challenge facing Qatar’s education system is the need to strike a balance between the Arabic and English languages. Arabization and hybrid approaches have emerged as potential solutions to this linguistic dilemma. Arabization advocates argue that a strong emphasis on Arabic is crucial to preserving cultural and linguistic heritage. Conversely, advocates of the hybrid approach argue that a bilingual model, combining English and Arabic, is essential for equipping students with the skills needed for the globalized world while preserving traditional cultural values. This linguistic draw reflects the complexities of navigating a postcolonial educational path. Although, concurrently, the Qatari government has been active in its efforts to build a cohesive national identity through its governmental curriculum. This curriculum not only imparts knowledge in core subjects like mathematics, science, and the arts but also emphasizes Islamic studies, history, and the Arabic language. While these efforts aim to instil a sense of pride and national identity in Qatari students, they encounter challenges when it comes to preparing students for higher education and the workforce. The need for a curriculum that can adapt to the evolving global landscape while preserving cultural values is a complex task.

The World Bank’s Concerns

The World Bank has raised concerns regarding the state of Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Qatar, specifically highlighting deficiencies in self-regulation skills and early literacy and numeracy skills among young children. Despite the country’s economic progress, these developmental gaps pose long-term consequences by impeding crucial brain development. The World Bank recognizes the potential transformative impact of enhanced ECD, not only in academic realms but also in promoting better health outcomes and fostering economic prosperity. [2]

The World Bank proposes a comprehensive three-fold strategy to enhance Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Qatar. Firstly, it advocates for the establishment of a Qatar-based multisectoral body to coordinate and oversee the implementation of a holistic ECD strategy. This body would prioritize the formulation of robust child protection policies, creating a secure environment for young children, while also emphasizing the expansion of support for breastfeeding and parental leave. [2] Secondly, to ensure a more inclusive ECD approach, the World Bank recommends broadening the coverage of programs to encompass all children in Qatar. This expansion involves a significant increase in the scope of nutrition programs and the introduction of pre-primary education initiatives. The focus extends beyond the supply side to cultivating public demand for ECD programs and addressing existing inequalities across socioeconomic lines [2]. Lastly, the World Bank stresses the necessity of establishing a robust quality assurance system for Qatar’s ECD. This involves harmonizing standards for teachers and educational providers, ensuring a coherent curriculum spanning ages zero to six, and implementing monitoring mechanisms. A comprehensive set of key performance indicators, supported by a robust data system, is proposed to track child development outcomes and monitor progress effectively. [2]


In conclusion, Qatar’s educational journey reflects a profound transformation, evolving from an initially inadequate educational provision to a nuanced landscape deeply influenced by historical colonialism. Although commendable strides have been made in enhancing educational performance, the enduring legacy of colonization persists, leaving an indelible mark on the country’s educational framework. This narrative gains additional complexity with the World Bank’s highlighted concerns regarding early childhood development (ECD) outcomes, emphasizing the urgency of addressing contemporary challenges.

To effectively navigate the intricacies embedded in Qatar’s historical and educational context, a compelling solution emerges—the establishment of robust national educational institutions. These institutions should not only aspire to academic excellence but also actively integrate globally relevant subjects into the curriculum. A strategic imperative lies in prioritizing Qatar’s national educational system over international institutes, ensuring alignment with the nation’s distinctive history, cultural values, and contemporary requirements. Through this strategic emphasis, Qatar can pave the way for an education system that not only preserves its rich heritage but also equips its youth with the skills and knowledge essential for navigating the complexities of the modern globalized world. Embracing this transformative approach ensures that Qatar’s educational landscape becomes a beacon of cultural preservation and global readiness.



[1] Zahlan, R. S. (2016). The creation of Qatar. Routledge.

[2] Nikaein Towfighian, S., & Adams, L. S. (2017). Early Childhood Development in Qatar. The World Bank.

[3] Hickling-Hudson, A. (2006). Cultural complexity, postcolonial perspectives, and educational change: Challenges for comparative educators. In J. Zajda, S. Majhanovich, & V. Rust (Eds.), Education and Social Justice (pp. 191-208). Springer Netherlands.

General Secretariat for Developing Planning. (2018). Qatar Second National Development Strategy 2018-2022. Retrieved from

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2015). PISA 2015 Results in Focus. Retrieved from


Human rights impact of business enterprises in the occupied Palestinian territory

Written by Aurelia Bejenari, Francisca Orrego Galarce, Leyang Fu and Maria Popova

This report is a Submission to United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

Education Under Threat: An EU-funded Palestinian school at risk of destruction. Photo by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid on Flickr.

How do business enterprises affect critical aspects of life, including economic, social and cultural rights in the oPt, particularly that of Palestinians under occupation?

Business enterprises significantly impact socio-cultural rights in Palestine, namely, children’s access to education. Education in Palestine is mandatory between grades 1 and 10; hence, all children between 6 and 15 years old are supposed to be enrolled in school.1

The current unemployment rate in Palestine has a drastic impact on children’s rights to education. Parents’ job loss and the erosion of resilience capacities often result in child school dropout, especially among low-income households, affecting primarily male children and children with low academic performance. Child labour is often used as a mechanism to alleviate families’ poverty.2 In 2018, approximately 4840 children out of 372600 worked full-time in Gaza.3 Thus, the deteriorating socioeconomic situation in Palestine hurts children’s rights and access to education.

Also, businesses operating in Palestinian territory display low compliance with Corporate Social Responsibility, which refers to the moral conduct that a company must follow.4 Following Corporate Social Responsibility is essential, as businesses have a crucial impact on societal well-being, including children’s access to education. Lack of compliance can have negative consequences as companies attempt to increase their profits by violating international law (e.g., the use of child labour). Businesses have played an essential part in reinforcing Israel’s agenda of annexation, control and exploitation.5 This is visible, for example, in children’s participation in Israeli settlement farms.

Palestinian children often work in Israeli settlement farms in the occupied West Bank, constituting a significant abuse of their rights.6 Children as young as 11 years old drop out of school to work under precarious and often dangerous conditions, being exposed to pesticides, dangerous equipment, and extreme heat (40 degrees and even 50 degrees Celsius).7 Children also do not receive medical insurance, having to pay for their medical bills in case of an accident at work. These children work 8 hours daily, six or seven days a week.8 During harvesting season, children work up to 12 hours per day and are heavily pressured by their employers, who do not allow breaks. This constitutes a grave violation of international as well as Israeli and Palestinian law, which states 15 years as the minimum age of employment, and children receive less than the established Israeli minimum wage.9 Children work in the agricultural sector due to the lack of employment opportunities and the need to support their families financially.10 The dire financial situation of many Palestinian families is a consequence of Israel’s occupation, which restricts access to land, water, and other essential means for agriculture. Moreover, the lack of career opportunities in Palestine also affects children’s access to education. Children often drop out of school prematurely as they assume they will inevitably work for Israeli settlements despite their qualifications.11

You can download the full report in this link.



1 Di Maio, M. and Nistico, R. The effect of parental job loss on child school dropout: Evidence from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Journal of Development Economics, 141, p.102375.

2 OCHA. “Child labour increasing in Gaza”, 2019.

3 Ibid.

4 Alhih, M., Tambi, A.M.B.A. and Abueid, A.I.S. Corporate Social Responsibility in Palestinian Public Schools. American Based Research Journal, 7(2018).

5 Farah, M. and Abdallah, M. “Security, business and human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory”. Business and Human Rights Journal, 4(2019), pp.7-31.

6 Human Rights Watch. “Ripe for Abuse: Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank”, 2015.,dangerous%20equipment%2C%20and%20extreme%20heat

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Learning Left Behind: Post-COVID Struggles of Children with Disabilities in Education

Roughly 240 million children, constituting one in every ten worldwide, live with disabilities. Regrettably, these children frequently encounter barriers that impede their fundamental rights, particularly access to education in schools. The importance of education for children is widely recognised, but children with disabilities continue to stay behind, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Target 4.5 of the SDGs highlights the importance of eradicating gender disparities and inequalities in education whilst placing emphasis on guaranteeing educational access for individuals with disabilities. Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also notices the importance for children with disabilities of accessing “inclusive, quality and free primary education”.

Despite the widespread recognition of the importance of education for children with disabilities, in 2020, only 68 per cent of countries incorporated inclusive education definitions into their policies. Broken Chalk recognises the urgent need to address the lack of inclusive education for children with disabilities. The lack of inclusive policies from the governments lifts many barriers for children with disabilities. Many of them face societal stigma or poverty, which, paired with insufficiently trained educators, inadequate learning resources, and inaccessible infrastructure, increase their chances of either never enrolling or dropping out of school.

UNICEF Innocenti’s Research Library presents compelling evidence that amidst the profound impact of COVID-19, the pandemic introduced the prospect of a universally accessible learning approach through open and distance learning initiatives. These initiatives hold the potential to offer more equitable educational opportunities for all children. However, realising this potential hinges on access to essential technologies, internet connectivity, and educators equipped with the competencies to provide remote education systematically, especially for children with disabilities.

While promising, the provision of remote learning often overlooks the accessibility needs of children with disabilities, resulting in a widening educational gap between those who can access education remotely and those who cannot. Online learning initiatives offered by national education ministries are reportedly inadequately accommodating for disabilities, leading adolescents to experience heightened anxiety or discontinue their studies altogether. Broken Chalks strongly supports the creation of accessible and high-quality educational materials. This includes advocating for flexible curriculum delivery methods that account for differences among learners.

Gender and poverty further compound these challenges, creating systemic discrimination at the intersection of multiple factors.

The evidence underscores gender as a critical social determinant of exclusion, particularly impacting women and girls with disabilities. Relative to boys with disabilities, women and girls around the world experienced higher risk factors for gender-based violence, increased barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health and/or loss of access to healthcare, education, employment and other necessary supports. Broken Chalk believes that education is crucial to working towards the elimination of violence against women and girls with disabilities.

Moreover, poverty is a significant barrier, restricting access to the internet and affordable quality technologies like cameras, screens, and internet bandwidth. This limitation often impedes access to distance learning, notably in humanitarian settings. Poverty significantly amplifies the challenges faced by children with disabilities in their educational journey as families grapple with the added expenses of sustaining their children’s education. Prevailing negative perceptions regarding the abilities of children with disabilities can further intensify this financial strain. Consequently, families might hesitate to enrol their children in schools, perceiving limited advantages.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in mental health disorders, exacerbated existing psychosocial disabilities, limited access to crucial healthcare services, heightened obstacles to social protection and elevated the risks of stigma, discrimination, neglect, violence, and abuse among individuals with disabilities.

Broken Chalks advocates for the collection of valuable insights to fortify programs and enhance partner capabilities.

The active engagement of parents in their children’s education stands out as a crucial and reliable predictor of academic success. Despite the evident advantages of parental involvement, children with disabilities often lack equal support for their learning compared to their peers without disabilities. Parents may encounter difficulties in adjusting their communication and interaction styles to cater to their child’s disability-specific needs, consequently feeling less equipped to engage in their child’s education and sometimes withdrawing their support.

The decision to leave school prematurely limits the future prospects for education and employment among these children, denying them the necessary skills and knowledge essential for advancing their careers. Broken Chalk firmly advocates for increasing inclusive education as a pivotal means to enhance the prospects of numerous children with disabilities through the educational challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic. Inclusive education embodies the enhancement of conditions and capacities within the education system to accommodate all learners, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic background, nationality, place of residence, or disability status, among other characteristics. It fosters meaningful and successful engagement within the educational framework. This concept encompasses various community and school infrastructure elements, norms, attitudes, and behaviours at the family, community, and school levels.

Broken Chalk calls for urgent investments to lower the educational gaps of children with disabilities that have exponentially grown after the COVID-19 Pandemic through promoting inclusive education all around the world. Moreover, Broken Chalk calls for taking on an intersectional perspective to diminish the societal stigma around children with disabilities throughout education.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.


Broken Chalk

Safe Schools Declaration and Guidelines on Military Use

Written by Gianna Chen

The endorsement of Safe Schools Declarations and Guidelines on Military Use is an international collaboration effort to protect education from attack. It consists of proposals and actions to prevent schools and universities from armed conflict. More importantly, the Declaration aims to reduce the use of schools and universities by parties of armed conflict and attempts to minimise the negative impact caused to student’s safety and access to education. According to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, every individual has the right to educationi. However, the lack of explicit standards or norms to protect educational institutions from using military effort is a challenge to the right to education. Further, it allows fighting forces to exploit the use of schools and universities to support military efforts. Examples of military use of education facilities such as fighting positions, overnight shelters, strategic positioning and operating bases should be prevented and limited if there are no other alternatives. Subsequently, it led to the destabilisation of education opportunities, emphasising the psychosocial distress and a range of health issues that could affect students, teachers and communities.

Developed between 2012 and 2014 and published in 2015 in Oslo, the Safe School Declaration has been endorsed by 118 states. It is an inter-governmental political commitment to protect students, teachers, schools and universities from attack during armed conflict. The guidelines for protecting schools include the followingii

  • “… Use the Guidelines and bring them into domestic policy and operational frameworks as far as possible and appropriate;
  • Make every effort at a national level to collect reliable, relevant data on attacks on educational facilities, on the victims of attacks, and military use of schools and universities during armed conflict, including through existing monitoring and reporting mechanisms, to facilitate such data collection and to provide assistance to victims, in a non-discriminatory manner;
  • Seek to ensure the continuation of education during armed conflict, support the re-establishment of educational facilities and, where in a position to do so, provide and facilitate international cooperation and assistance to programmes working to prevent or respond to an attack on education, including for the implementation of this Declaration…”

By addressing the importance of education and the right to education, the guidelines intended to achieve a durable peace and hope to inspire responsible practices among those involved in the planning and executing military operations. On top of that, the Declaration serves as a framework for states to cooperate and meet on a regular basis to assess the implementation and application of the guidelines.

In addition to the Declaration, the military use of education facilities under extreme circumstances such as war and international or national violence should be avoided to the greatest extent following the guidelines listed belowiii

  1. Functioning schools and universities should not be used by fighting forces of parties to armed conflict in any way.
  2. Schools and universities that have been abandoned should not be used by fighting forces of parties to armed conflict for any purpose in support of their military effort. 
  3. Schools and universities must never be destroyed as a measure intended to deprive the opposing parties of the armed conflict.
  4. Prior to any attack on a school that has become a military objective, parties to armed conflict should consider all feasible alternative measures before attacking them. 
  5. The fighting forces of parties to armed conflict should not be employed to provide security for schools and universities. 
  6. All parties to armed conflict should incorporate these guidelines into their doctrine, military manuals, rules of engagement, operational order, and other means of dissemination. 

The above-summarised guidelines contain the fundamental humanitarian standard for states to follow during armed conflict. It is essential to refrain from actions that interfere with children’s access to education and reinstate the role of education in durable development and promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations. The impact of conflict, violence and military disruption on educational institutions not only increases the risk of students and teachers being exposed to a range of abuse but also threatens the very right to life, the right to education and the right to be in their home and communities. The Safe Schools Declaration marks the baseline for protecting education institutions to be used for military purposes. It urges states committed to the Declaration to incorporate the guidelines into their domestic policies and defend the fundamental human rights to which every individual is entitled.


GCPEA. Safe schools declaration and guidelines on military use. Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 2022.

GCPEA. Guidelines for protecting schools and universities from military use during armed conflict. Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 2022.

GCPEA. COMMENTARY ON THE “Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict”. Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 2015.

Human Rights Watch. Protecting Schools from Military Use Law, Policy, and Military Doctrine. Human Rights Watch, May 2019.

i GCPEA. COMMENTARY ON THE “Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict”. Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 2015.

ii GCPEA. Guidelines for protecting schools and universities from military use during armed conflict. Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 2022.

iii GCPEA. COMMENTARY ON THE “Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict”. Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 2015.

Press Release: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Unmasking Modern-Day Slavery in Congo and Sudan

December 2, 2023

The world we live in is adorned with technological marvels that can disguise a terrifying reality—the pervasive existence of modern-day slavery. This press release, “Deceptive Abolition,” exposes the complexities of exploitation in the global supply chain and the haunting echoes of Sudan’s history, challenging the soothing idea of liberation.

As Broken Chalk marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, this press release challenges the notion of liberation, revealing the complex web of exploitation in global supply chains and the echoes of Sudan’s past. The fight against slavery, it seems, is far from over.

Often, gold mines in the Congo are filled with child miners such as Patrice, 15, who started working at this mine when he was only eight years old. Photo by Image Journeys Sasha Lezhnev on Flickr.

Deceptive Abolition: A Closer Look at Congo’s Lithium Mines

Congo’s lithium mines, crucial contributors to the tech sector, have sadly become hotspots for severe human rights violations. The insatiable global demand for smartphones, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage has birthed an exploitative system, forcing individuals into unsafe conditions for meagre remuneration.

The lithium mining process is fraught with peril. Miners, often children, toil in confined and hazardous environments, exposed to toxic chemicals without adequate protection. Reports of child labour, abysmal working conditions, and lack of basic utilities contrast starkly with the illusion of a slavery-free society. The prevalence of slavery in the lithium sector goes beyond ignorance; profit-driven corporations willingly turn a blind eye to the human cost, hiding behind the complexity of global networks.

Congo’s Role in iPhone Production: Unveiling Mass Human Rights Violations

Digging beneath Congo’s surface reveals an abundant lithium source, a critical component in the lithium-ion batteries powering iPhones. As consumers revel in sleek design and advanced functionality, how often do we ponder the human cost? The interconnection between Congo’s mines and Apple’s sophisticated supply chain isn’t accidental; it’s a consequence of a profit-driven global economy. The iPhone, a symbol of technological progress, harbours a dark secret—rampant exploitation in Congo’s lithium mines. Despite claims of sustainability, Apple Inc.’s supply chain practices paint a different picture, casting doubt on corporate accountability and fueling scepticism about the abolition of slavery.

Moving Forward: A Call for Transparency and Accountability

This revelation isn’t an accusation but a call to action. It urges individuals, corporations, and governments to collaborate in creating a world where technological growth aligns with ethical responsibility. Congo’s lithium mines expose the dire need for transparency and accountability across global supply chains. As consumers, we must advocate for companies to embrace responsibility for their product lifecycle. This report by Broken Chalk aims to spark a conversation about the hidden costs of technological advancement, urging collective action to eradicate the persistent stain of modern-day slavery.

Navigating Modern-Day Slavery in Sudan: An Ongoing Crisis

In Sudan’s labyrinthine history, the darkness of slavery has cast a long and haunting shadow, evolving through centuries and manifesting in myriad forms. As we approach the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, it’s crucial to delve into Sudan’s struggle against modern-day bondage, marked by historical legacies and contemporary challenges.

Sudan’s historical tapestry is woven with threads of slavery, dating back to imperial influences and echoes of the second Sudanese civil war. Distressing reports emerged during the 1983-2005 conflict, revealing government-backed militias engaging in practices reminiscent of historical slavery. Abductions and enslavement, particularly in Darfur, drew global attention to egregious human rights violations.

We’ve uncovered enduring shadows in navigating Congo’s lithium mines and Sudan’s historical struggles. These tales of exploitation and resilience demand more than acknowledgement; they beckon us to collective action. The revelations from Congo and Sudan underscore the urgent need for transparency, accountability, and a united front against the chains binding humanity.

As we commemorate the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, let this report be a catalyst for change—a call to confront uncomfortable truths, advocate for ethical responsibility, and strive for a world where progress aligns with justice, human rights, and the unequivocal abolition of modern-day slavery. The shadows may endure, but so does the human spirit’s capacity for resilience and the collective power to break free from persisting shackles.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.


Broken Chalk

France has recently banned Abayas in French schools

Written by Yehia Murad and Kamye Boblet-Ledoyen

The Problem

On September 7th 2023, the Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest court of administrative law, affirmed the Ministry of National Education and Youth’s decision to prohibit the wearing of abayas and qamis apparel: “Pupils typically wear these garments in compliance with legislative provisions, with the accompanying dialogue often featuring a discourse on religious practice, influenced by arguments shared on social media platforms.” (Conseil d’Etat, 2023). For the highest administrative court of France, the wearing of abayas and qamis is considered to be in contradiction with the 2004 law that forbids ostentatious religious sign: “While students attending public schools are permitted to wear subtle religious symbols, it is prohibited to wear any clothing or signs that explicitly demonstrate a religious affiliation, such as a hijab, kippah, or oversized cross. Additionally, it is also prohibited to wear clothing or symbols that only demonstrate a religious affiliation on the basis of the student’s behaviour.” [1]. The ruling of the Conseil d’Etat is legally valid; the rationale of the Ministry of Education, and the French government in general, behind this ban is more ambiguous.


The use of prominent religious symbols, especially those of the Muslim faith, has been the topic of intense political discussion since the late 1980s. The denial of class attendance to young veiled pupils by a school principal in 1989 sparked controversy among politicians in the country and beyond. This occurrence, which transpired in Creil, a middle-range town situated in the north-west suburbs of Paris, became known as the affaire de Creil (“Creil affair”). In 2010, the French government implemented a law prohibiting the wearing of burqas in public spaces such as schools, streets, and transportation. France has a lengthy history of anti-clericalism and secularism. The 1905 law establishing the separation of Church and State is viewed as an inventive compromise that assures both the liberty to worship and the non-interference of spiritual matters in temporal affairs. The politicisation of the abaya affair by politicians is lamentable, whereas the very idea of the 1905 law was to avoid any political controversy over religion. The exploitation of the principle of secularism via the prohibition of abayas and qamis is highly concerning. It is apparent that the French government, notably Education Minister Gabriel Attal, does not prioritise the promotion of secularism amongst younger generations.

This decision is merely political and not related to any supposed fight against Islamism. Gabriel Attal, the Education Minister appointed this summer, is primarily known for his political opportunism. Mr. Attal comes from the Parisian bourgeoisie, having been educated in one of the most prestigious private schools in the heart of the French capital, L’Alsacienne. He has been associated with both the Socialist Party and the conservative right in the past, but later became a staunch supporter of Emmanuel Macron. Despite having only completed an internship at Villa Médicis during his master’s degree, which he obtained after repeating a year with the help of a university arrangement, he managed to join the ministerial offices at a young age of 23.[2] During his past positions as Minister Delegate for Youth, Government Spokesman, and Minister for the Budget and Public Accounts, Mr. Attal has proved to be a consistent advocate of Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

What is at Stake

The ban is closely linked to the decline of the national education system in the country. Although the inadequate state of schools in France is not unique, the exploitation of Republican principles, which underpin French citizenship, distinguishes the country as a particular case. Article 1 of the French Constitution stipulates that “France is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic”, setting the status of secularism as a supreme norm. Nevertheless, the far right has exploited this principle to promote their platforms that rely solely on emotional appeals, such as the fear of migration, the fear of Islam, and the fear of replacement. The rhetoric of being replaced, commonly found in European conservative and far-right parties, is fueled by a clear cause: decades of economic marginalisation resulting from neoliberalism. The National Education budget, which totals €59 billion in 2023 and accounts for the largest share of public spending, is inadequate. The salaries of French teachers are considerably lower than those in neighbouring countries, and the lack of support staff for students with disabilities, including carers, school nurses and doctors, presents a daily challenge for teaching staff. School performance is deemed deficient, as stated in the newest report (September 2023) published by the Scientific Council of National Education. It asserts that French proficiency has worsened while in mathematics, only half of the pupils are aware of the length of a quarter past three quarters of an hour. Consequently, discussing the abaya is diverting from the deep-seated issues that impede the national education system.

Yet, the French school required everything, except for another debate on the Islamic veil. As the topic is highly sensitive in France, a country that has suffered from numerous Islamist attacks since 2015. The killings of a history-geography teacher in 2020 and a literature teacher in October 2023 had a profound impact on public consciousness and caused trauma among the population. However, instead of implementing specific political measures, the French government capitalised on the emotions stirred by these attacks.

It is in fact in the preparatory work for the 1905 law on the separation of church and state that the proper measure is to be found: “Imposing the obligation on ministers of worship to modify the cut of their clothes, in light of a law aiming to establish a regime of religious freedom, would result in more than just problematic backlash… it risks exposing them not only to intolerance, but also to ridicule and potentially serious danger.” The state need not concern itself with the attire of its citizens; rather, it should strive to educate them and raise awareness of their rights. The Republican school’s responsibility is to use logical argument rather than emotional persuasion to advocate for the benefits of secularism. The legislators in 1905 were aware of the pitfall of banning a religious garment, which the French government ultimately fell into. They noted that “the combined ingenuity of priests and tailors would soon have created a new garment, which would no longer be the cassock, but would still be quite different from the jacket and the frock coat to allow the passer-by to distinguish at first glance a priest from any other citizen.” [3]

The French government is promoting the expansion of the Service National Universel (Universal National Service), a less intensive version of military service, as a means of toughening up its education policy, rather than facing up to reality. Following his re-election in May 2022, Emmanuel Macron expressed concern over his political legacy. For sure, he will leave this political legacy of the unprecedented extreme right-wing of society. Ultimately, if one imitates the far-right’s behaviour and rhetoric, one becomes aligned with far-right ideologies. It would have been worth it to beat Marine Le Pen twice…

Looking ahead…

The implementation of the banning of hijabs in the French education system is synonymous with right-wing politics, which explicitly rejects various forms of globalisation, particularly migration. Such an implementation of a policy that excludes a certain segment of civil society subverts the inclusive political institutions of the European Union, which need to maintain the virtuous circle of democracies [4; 5].

Such an issue lies in a discourse that leans heavily to the right, marginalising individuals based on their belief systems. As stated, it is important that the French state’s protect its continued vision of secularism and égalité (equality) and design the education system as an equal level playing field for its diverse civil society. The education system, as a key component in shaping the values of future generations, should prioritise fostering an environment of acceptance and understanding. Instead, this policy sends a distressing message, reinforcing polarising narratives and perpetuating stereotypes. It is imperative to recognize that a diverse and inclusive educational experience is not just a right but a cornerstone of a thriving democracy.

It is necessary for the EU to play a proactive role in scrutinising and repudiating member states that threaten such democratic and inclusive principles that they stand for. The EU should vocally condemn any action that leads to a democratic backslide within its borders. Free-speech should not be selective to benefit the popular segment of civil society, as the ban is not merely a dress code issue, but rather a threat to the core values of democracy and inclusive education. As advocates for human rights, it is our responsibility to shed light on these marginalising policies and call for a united stand against any measure that undermines the principles that cements a democratic society. We, Broken Chalk, advocate for equal opportunities in education for all minority ethnicities and commit to addressing the lack of inclusive institutions for all. We castigate the decision taken by the Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest court of administrative law, and call for the necessary interventions by the appropriate bodies, such as the EU. Lastly, we urge the French courts to revise the decision taken by the Ministry of National Education and Youth and to find a common ground; between France’s universal values of secularism and the consideration of minority groups in the pursuit of education.


[1] Légifrance. 2004. “LOI n° 2004-228 du 15 mars 2004 encadrant, en application du principe de laïcité, le port de signes ou de tenues manifestant une appartenance religieuse dans les écoles, collèges et lycées publics (1).” Légifrance.

[2] Branco, Juan. 2019. Crépuscule. 1st ed. Vauvert: Au diable vauvert.

Conseil d’Etat. 2023. “Base de jurisprudence.” Conseil d’Etat.

[3] Aristide Briand. 1905. “Délibérations sur le projet et les propositions de loi concernant la séparation des Eglises et de l’Etat.” Les Classiques des sciences sociales.

[4] Acemoglu, D. Robinson, J. A. (2012) Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, Crown Business.

[5] Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2019). The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty. Penguin Press.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Written by Benjamin Koponen, Caren Thomas & Zina Sabbagh

Palestine’s Educational Landscape

Amid the recent escalations in Gaza, Bisan Owda, a journalist from the area, begins most of her interviews by acknowledging her survival. Her words echo the harrowing reality. “There is no place safe in Gaza.” – wizard_bisan1, Instagram, 2023

The devastating impact on educational institutions underscores this stark truth. Over 200 schools have been ruthlessly damaged, bombed, or entirely razed in this small geographic region.i Shockingly, this accounts for almost 40% of the total number of schools in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) facilities and schools, which are considered a protected establishment by international law and the global community, no longer carry the assurance of safety.ii The reality became painfully evident with the bombing of Al Fakhoura UNRWA school, a widely recognized establishment in northern Gaza, on November 19th.iii At the time, over 7,000 individuals, including teachers, students, families, and the elderly, sought refuge within its walls. In an instant, this sanctuary, an educational institute that helped dreams and hopes to become a reality, was destroyed.

Photo by Luke White on Unsplash

Delving deeper into Palestinians’ challenges within the educational sphere offers a clearer picture of their struggles. Palestinian secondary education comprises three primary sectors: Private schools, public schools, and UNRWA schools specifically established for Palestinian refugees.iv These institutions adhere to the standardized Palestinian Curriculum set by the Palestinian Government. An intriguing aspect to note is the continuous scrutiny and censorship imposed by the Israeli Government on the standardized Palestinian Curriculum.v The Israeli authorities restrict detailed information about Palestinian heritage, culture, and

Additionally, the very depiction of a map outlining the borders of Palestine is consistently banned. This forces the Palestinian curriculum to be extremely flexible because continuous changes are happening to it.vii Moreover, both students and teachers face numerous obstacles in accessing schools. Throughout the West Bank, checkpoints present a significant hindrance, impeding the transit of individuals to educational institutions. Similarly, in Gaza, the frequent bombings further increase the challenges faced by students and educators in their pursuit of education viii.

Another obstacle that the secondary educational sector faces is funding. A report by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) mentioned that around US$3.55 million would be required to repair the damages to school facilities from the aggression that happened in May 2021.ix Due to the Israeli Military Occupation, the economy of the Palestinian Authority is severely hindered. Thus, the educational sector heavily depends on donations and aid from the international community, primarily the UN.x However, since 2016, the aid for the UNWRA schools has been radically decreasing due to changes in the political arena.xi

Gaza’s schools consist of 284 UNRWA facilities out of 561 schools due to the high population of refugees from neighbouring villages that got destroyed.xii Therefore, many of these schools lack the infrastructure, classes, and materials to function properly; however, they are still prospering and using as much material as they can to operate at their best capacity. Even when the students surpass all of these difficult challenges, when they want to pursue higher education outside of Gaza, they are denied permits from Israel, thereby confining them in Gaza.

Concerning education, there are numerous tactics employed by the Israeli Occupation that exacerbate these hardships. Even if there was an end to the destruction and war against Gaza, the trauma and PTSD faced by students, teachers, and other individuals will take generations to process, heal, and fully recover.

Photo by Austin Crick on Unsplash

Mental Health of Palestinian Children

Mental health is a delicate prism through which human beings understand themselves and the world around them. This prism is ymbolizezed by peoples’ ability to manage stress, nurture their talents, learn/work effectively, and support their community.xiii These resilience strategies are not coping mechanisms of living through trauma but allow people to move past setbacks and grow as individuals. However, traumatic incidents in childhood–such as warfare–can induce levels of stress which surpass the efficacy of healthy coping mechanisms. The continued bombing, displacement, and occupation of Gaza/West Bank has increased anxiety, depression, and PTSD amongst local Palestinian children.

Since October 7th, the IDF has killed approximately 11,320 Palestinian civilians.xiv These include 4,650 children and 3,145 women, leaving 29,200 injured and 3,600 unaccounted for (of which 1,755 children).xv Twelve years ago, Dimitry found that “conflict-related traumatic experiences correlate positively with prevalence of mental, behavioural and emotional problems”.xvi

As far back as 2011, approximately 23% to 70% of children were reported to suffer from PTSD.xvii Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prolonged mental/physiological response to extremely tense experiences. For Palestinian children, exposure to terrorist attacks, being displaced from one’s homes, violent abuse, and witnessing daily humiliation force them into survival mode.xviii

Maintaining a daily routine is integral to ensuring children’s mental health. However, the destruction of schools, homes, and regular displacement produce an unpredictable environment. It has been noted that the persisting nature of Israeli occupation eliminates civilians (especially children) a moment to heal.xix As a result, they are thrown into a constant state of traumatic stress. In 2022, 90% of children experience separation anxiety from parents, over 50% have pontificated suicide, and 59% experience reactive mutism.xx Furthermore, the Guardian has reported that children are also experiencing sleeping difficulties.xxi However, children have developed strategies for responding to these post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in different ways. These include active exposure to traumatic events and political resistance as trauma responses to political violence.

Palestinian youth–often young men and boys– have been known to hold peers who have been beaten/imprisoned with respect.xxii In this way, they transform the fear of persecution into courage. In contrast, young Palestinian women and girls are more likely to express PTSS through anxiety and depression.xxiii These characteristics align with the gendered expectations of boys/girls in the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, young men and boys who engage in these behaviours demonstrate more PTSS than their female counterparts.xxiv Active exposure to trauma is deeply interconnected to resistance as a trauma response.

Wispelwey & Jamei demonstrate that political activism, specifically the Great March of Return (GMR), can provide “a positive impact on community mental health via a sense of agency, hope”.xxv The GMR, a series of demonstrations initiated in March 2018, was meant to ymbolize Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland (enshrined by UN Resolution 194). The GMR adopted a cultural/celebratory atmosphere filled with dancing, food, and chanting. Protesters met the IDF’s militaristic response–dispensing tear gas and sniping into the crowd–with an entrenched feeling of agency to shape their political reality.xxvi

The desperate state of children’s mental health in Palestine is entangled with the reality of Israeli occupation. Anxiety is not an irrational response to warfare. Depression is not an irrational response to a lack of opportunities. These are psychological symptoms of decisions made by political leaders. In a letter published by Save The Children, 6 Palestinian children–Salma, Niveen, Zain, Samer, Khaled and Amal outlined their wishes; “The first thing we wish is that the war would end…We hope that all the destroyed buildings will be cleared away and something better and more beautiful will come in their place”.xxvii Medical care, infrastructure, and community support will be integral to healing. A ceasefire is the first step in this healing process.

Deprivation of resources for students in Palestine

At the beginning of the year 2023, the United Nations recorded at least 423 incidents impacting Palestinian children and their education. This includes the firing by Israeli forces on schools and children conducting operations and demolishing schools.xxviii The Gaza’s Ministry of Educationxxix has suspended the school year 2023-2024. Due to the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, schools in the Strip are being used as “safe spaces” for the Palestinians. However, even the schools have been targeted by Israeli bombing.

Currently, schools run by UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees – have been targeted numerous times by Israeli These schools are supposed to be considered as secure zones during an armed conflict. However, what we’re witnessing in Gaza is the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, particularly children. This targeting of those seeking refuge in schools ultimately leads to the death and injury of many civilians. It leads to the disruption of education due to the loss of resources that occurs when an armed conflict targets schools and other educational institutions.

Defense for Children International – Palestine, who are winners of the Rafto Prize, 2023, in their ‘Child in War, 2022 reportxxxi had mentioned that Palestinian children have expressed that they do not want financial assistance from the international community. Instead, the children would like to be protected from the searches that take place during checkpoints and attacks that take place at school. Furthermore, child human rights defenders from Palestine were given the chance to partake in meetings with international human rights bodies, but no heed was given to address the needs of the children. The ground reality continues to remain the same.

The Gaza Strip continues to witness armed conflict, causing colossal damage to infrastructure and other educational resources. A child is supposed to be in school for education but now goes to school with their families for potential shelter from the bombings. The number of schools damaged is at least 300 schools and 183 teachers have reportedly been killed.xxxii Additionally, the Israel blockade of water, food, medical supplies, electricity and fuel imposes grave risks on the access to resources for these children.

A gap in the child’s education that has occurred due to conflict, coupled with the absence of psychosocial support, may leave many children feeling hopelessly behind. The situation in Gaza requires the people to rebuild their schools, sanitation and other educational resources. The people need to find ways to accommodate temporary learning spaces, obtain support from the international community to rebuild their educational systems and, most importantly, find teaching staff equipped to understand the fractured environment of these young minds. Education is extremely crucial in this heart-wrenching environment as it offers the backbone and potential freedom to overcome some of the difficulties faced by these Palestinian children.

While countless international laws and mechanisms are in place, enforcing them has been an ineffective process mainly due to minimal international intervention. It is unequivocally evident that the Israel attacks on Palestine are a mockery of international humanitarian law.

We leave our readers with these questions.

When does education, a fundamental human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, cease to be a distant luxury for the children of Palestine?

When does a child of Palestine stop being a “child of war” and embrace a life of positive learning, growth and happiness?


i UNESCO. (2023). Gaza: UNESCO calls for an immediate halt to strikes against schools. UNESCO.


iii Al Jazeera. (2023). Many killed in Israeli attacks on two schools in northern Gaza. Al Jazeera.

iv Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. (2023). Schools Placement Around Palestine.

v Al Jazeera Net. (2017). Accusing the Palestinian curriculum of incitement against Israel. Al Jazeera Net.

vi Al Jazeera Net. (2004). Israeli Efforts to Change the Palestinian Educational Curriculum جهود إسرائيلية محمومة لتغيير مناهج التعليم الفلسطينية. Al Jazeera Net.

vii Palestinian Ministry of Education. (2023). Sectoral strategy for education.

viii Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates. (n.d.). Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates. State of Palestine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.

ix Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack. (2022). Measuring the Impact of Attacks on Education in Palestine. content/uploads/impact_attackeducation_palestine_2022_en.pdf

x Palestinian Ministry of Education. (2023). Sectoral strategy for education.

xi BBC News. (2018, January 17). UN alarmed as US cuts aid to Palestinian refugee agency. BBC News.

xii Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. (2023). Schools Placement Around Palestine.

xiii World Health Organization: WHO. (2022, June 17). Mental health.

xiv Anadolu staff. (2023, November). Gaza death toll soars to 11,320 amid relentless Israeli attacks, including 4,650 children.

xv Anadolu staff. (2023, November). Gaza death toll soars to 11,320 amid relentless Israeli attacks, including 4,650 children.

xvi Dimitry, L. D. (2011). A systematic review on the mental health of children and adolescents in areas of armed conflict in the Middle East. Child: Care, Health and Development38(2), 153–161.

xvii Dimitry, L. D. (2011). A systematic review on the mental health of children and adolescents in areas of armed conflict in the Middle East. Child: Care, Health and Development38(2), 153–161.

xviii Dimitry, L. D. (2011). A systematic review on the mental health of children and adolescents in areas of armed conflict in the Middle East. Child: Care, Health and Development38(2), 153–161.

xix Agbaria, N., Petzold, S., Deckert, A., Henschke, N., Veronese, G., Dambach, P., Jaenisch, T., Horstick, O., & Winkler, V. (2020). Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among Palestinian children and adolescents exposed to political violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE16(8), 1–17.

xx Sherwood, H. (2023, October 22). Children in Gaza ‘developing severe trauma’ after 16 days of bombing. The Guardian

xxi Save the Children International. (2022, June 15). After 15 years of blockade, four out of five children in Gaza say they are living with depression, grief and fear

xxii Agbaria, N., Petzold, S., Deckert, A., Henschke, N., Veronese, G., Dambach, P., Jaenisch, T., Horstick, O., & Winkler, V. (2020). Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among Palestinian children and adolescents exposed to political violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE16(8), 1–17.

xxiii Wispelwey, B. W., & James, Y. A. J. (2020). The Great March of Return. Health and Human Rights Journal22(1), 179–186.

xxiv Agbaria, N., Petzold, S., Deckert, A., Henschke, N., Veronese, G., Dambach, P., Jaenisch, T., Horstick, O., & Winkler, V. (2020). Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among Palestinian children and adolescents exposed to political violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE16(8), 1–17.

xxv Wispelwey, B. W., & James, Y. A. J. (2020). The Great March of Return. Health and Human Rights Journal22(1), 179–186.

xxvi Save The Children. (2022). Trapped: The Impact of 15 years of blockade on the mental health of Gaza’s children

xxvii Save The Children. (2022). Trapped: The Impact of 15 years of blockade on the mental health of Gaza’s children

xxviii United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “Back to school: 1.3 million Palestinian children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are returning to school during a tumultuous year.” August 21, 2023.

xxix Middle East Monitor. “Amidst the bombing, school year suspended in Gaza.” November 6, 2023.

xxx Mhawish, Mohammed R. “‘Why bomb schools?’ Gaza families have no safe space amid Israeli attacks”. October 10, 2023.

xxxi Defence for Children International. “Children affected by armed Conflict.” 2022.

xxxii Becker, Jo. “Israel/Gaza Hostilities Take Horrific Toll on Children.” Human Rights Watch. November 22, 2023.