A destroyed school in Syria (Photo: Various agencies/Failing Syria report)
A destroyed school in Syria (Photo: Various agencies/Failing Syria report)

The process to agree the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD), and subsequent work to universalise and implement it, could have useful lessons for planning around the upcoming process to agree a political declaration on protecting civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, which is expected to commence in 2019.

The format of the SSD process, the ways of working, and the decisions that states, the global coalition of civil society and international organisations faced during and subsequent to the agreement of the text could provide helpful points of reflection.

This discussion paper gives a summary of how the SSD process developed, and of some of the work that has occurred and its impact since the SSD was launched in May 2015.

It suggests some key strategic pointers that could be drawn from the agreement of the text and subsequent universalisation and implementation work to advance the agenda of protecting education from attack, which could be used as lessons for strategic and work planning in future processes.

This paper does not represent a comprehensive account of the SSD process, but is intended rather to provide some key reflections from Article 36’s perspective and based on our work on this issue, from the point of view of looking ahead to future work.

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Reflections from the Safe Schools Declaration process for future international political commitments on civilian protection

Discussion paper

August 2019