It is a sad day for humanity as Kenya witnessed dastardly attack at the Garissa University campus that has claimed 147 lives, mostly students. The deadliest attack yet by Al-Shabab militants has also left 79 people seriously injured and battling for their lives.
Condemning this reckless act, Nobel Peace Laureate and Chairperson, Global March against Child Labour, Kailash Satyarthi said, “Terrorists feel threatened and cornered by the power of education. This has once again been proven by the attacks in Kenya. We must collectively resolve to protect Education for All children”.
The Kenyan attack comes at a time when the world is still recovering from the massacre in Peshawar School in December 2014 that shook the entire world. In less than a fortnight from now, it will be a year since the schoolgirls from Chibok in Nigeria were abducted. The girls are still under the captivity of Boko Haram. Attacks such as these point out to the fact that the world is still not equipped enough to deal with forces that threaten the future of education. The Global Terrorism Index 2014 points out that there has been a five-fold increase in the number of deaths from terrorism since 2000 with the worst affected countries being Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria. Children are often the first casualties of these acts of terror either directly or indirectly.
Global March reiterates that education cannot prosper under the shadow of terror. The travesty is that this attack comes at a time when the international fraternity is gearing up to adopt Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at providing inclusive and equitable education and promoting lifelong opportunities for learning to all. It is a matter of grave concern that even in the 26th year since the acclamation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) the Governments and other stakeholders have not done enough to protect and promote the rights of the children to survive, thrive, learn, grow and make their voices heard and to reach their full potential. With rampant attacks on education and indiscriminate killing of innocent children at schools and educational institutes it is high time the world adopted and implemented a zero tolerance policy that protects children from such barbaric acts that shatter the very foundation of right to life and peace besides sabotaging the universal right to education.
Global March stands in solidarity with the families of the victims and urges governments, international agencies and civil society to come together against forces that endanger the foundations of a strong, sustainable and an educated world that we are set to achieve.