Vulnerable Students, Unsafe Schools: Attacks and Military Use of Schools in the Central African Republic

The wave of violence beginning in December 2012 in the Central African Republic (CAR) has taken its toll on the country’s fragile education system. According to an assessment released by the Education Cluster in April 2015, roughly 29.6 percent of the 335 schools surveyed were attacked and 8.4 percent were used by armed groups and international peacekeeping forces between 2012 and April 2015.2 By February 2014, 65 percent of schools were closed.3 Despite significant progress in reopening schools for the 2014-2015 academic year, armed groups continue to impede children’s right to education by looting schools, threatening students and teachers, attacking areas without distinguishing schools, and contributing to an overall climate of insecurity.

Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) conducted a five-week research mission to CAR to investigate and shed light on the high number of attacks and military use of schools and to formulate recommendations to realize children’s right to education. The nature of the attacks on schools varies by prefecture, depending on the groups operating in the region and the level of active conflict. Although the intensity of the violence and number of reported attacks on schools has declined relative to the number of attacks that occurred between late 2012 and 2014, some schools still remain at risk of attack, particularly in areas of active conflict.

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Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist)


Protecting Education from Attack

Geographic Focus

Central African Republic