It is a sad reality that educational facilities as battlegrounds are a common feature of many situations of insecurity and armed conflict. Excessive use of force by state forces or by non-state armed groups, combined with the fact that hostilities often take place in urban areas, make educational facilities, students, and educators frequent casualties. Moreover, evidence suggests that education ‘as such’ is not simply the victim of collateral damage but has become a specific target of attack. The effect is felt through the loss of teachers and intellectuals; the flight of students and staff; the destruction of buildings; the shelving of investment; and the generalized degradation of education systems.

Dr Gilles Giacca (former research fellow and programme coordinator) conducted research into how UN human rights treaty bodies and relevant UN Charter-based mechanisms and entities have addressed implementation of the right to education and other relevant rights in armed conflict and armed violence. The subjects of study include the Human Rights Council (including the Universal Periodic Review), treaty bodies such as the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Human Rights Committee; the Special Procedure mechanisms (both thematic and country mandates); the UN Security Council Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism established under Resolution 1612; and the country-specific UN fact-finding missions and commissions of inquiry.

The outputs of the project include a final report on the analysis together with conclusions and recommendations as well as a policy document that could serve as the basis for follow-up by interested stakeholders.

The Oxford Human Rights Hub (OxHRH) also examine Right to Education issues post-2015 and how this relates to Human Rights Law.