Time to act: providing refugee children the education they were promised

In times of crisis, education can play a life-saving and life-sustaining role. But most children caught up in crisis are denied an education. More than half of the world’s refugee children – 3.7 million – don’t go to school. Having already lost their homes, they are now losing their education.

It doesn’t have to be that way. This report shows that it is well within our means to provide a quality education to every last refugee child – by including refugees in national education systems and taking concerted action to improve the quality of education for refugee and host community children.

This year offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fulfill that vision as the international community will adopt a new Global Compact on Refugees. The compact promises to transform the way the world meets the needs of refugees and host communities, including improving their access to education.

The costings in this report show that modest additional financing could provide pre-primary, primary and secondary education to all of the world’s refugees, while also improving the education of children in host communities. The report suggests where the necessary funding could come from.

In September 2016, at the height of the European refugee crisis, the international community adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. Hailed as the foundation of a new approach to large movements of refugees and migrants, it promised to ensure that all refugee children would be in school and learning within a few months of crossing an international border.

The Global Compact gives us a fresh chance to reach that goal. This report shows in detail how we can get there.

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