A study launched by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) shows that globally the number of children out of school has fallen from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011. However, the research also shows that children who live in conflict affected countries now make up half (50%) of children who are denied an education, up from around two fifths (42%) in 2008.
The study, Children Battling To Go To School, was released in partnership with Save the Children to mark the 16th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights activist shot by the Taliban in October 2012.
In addition, the survey shows that just under half (44%) of the 28.5 million children affected live in sub-Saharan Africa. One fifth (19%) live in South and West Asia and over a tenth (14%) in the Arab States. More than nine in ten (95%) currently live in low and lower middle income countries.
The study shows that girls, who make up more than half (55%) of the total, are the worst affected as they are often victims of rape and other sexual violence.
UNESCO also published this testimonial from a 16 year old Syrian refugee living in Lebanon:
“Students do not go to school because when they did, there were shells… this war stopped me from graduating and now my future is destroyed.”
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