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Afghanistan: UN condemns targeting of schools

Afghanistan: UN rights experts condemns targeting of schools by terrorists

A United Nation expert on the right to education today voiced outrage at the seemingly systematic targeting of schools in Afghanistan, especially girls’ schools, by terrorist groups apparently seeking to shut down the school system.

“The fundamental human right to education includes the right to a safe education,” Special Rapporteur on the right to education Vernor Muñoz Villalobos said in a statement, referring specifically to last week’s terrorist rocket attack on Salabagh School in Asadabad, in which several children were killed and dozens wounded.

“Children have the right to safety in school establishments that are conducive to a positive learning environment. The right to education is essential for future generations to prosper,” he added.

“I am deeply concerned that schools, especially girls’ schools, seem to be systematically targeted by terrorist groups with the apparent objective of forcing parents to refrain from sending their children to school and thus forcing the authorities to close those schools.”

Mr. Muñoz Villalobos called for a response to terrorism firmly grounded on human rights and fundamental freedoms, saying this would “further isolate those who commit such acts and contribute to better security for all.”

Special Rapporteurs are unpaid experts serving in an independent personal capacity who received their mandate from the now defunct UN Commission on Human Rights and will now report to the newly established and enhanced Human Rights Council.

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