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overview

Millions of children are affected by violent conflict and insecurity worldwide. With increasing levels of protracted crises, UNICEF is committed to helping children live in peace, free from violence and fear, as realize their rights, including right to education. This requires exploring new approaches and investing in programmes that address underlying risk and build resilience to reduce children’s vulnerability to violent conflict.
South Asia is a conflict-affected region, some countries are directly suffering from protracted internationalized and internal armed conflicts, while others are either susceptible to conflict or experiencing the impacts of post-conflict/civil strife realities. Social and economic factors such as inequities, poverty, discrimination and poor governance underline grievances that promote separatist movements as well as ideological armed struggles. 36 Million Out of School Children in the age group 5 to 14 live in South Asia, many of who are in conflict or strife affected zones.
Recognizing the interconnectedness of social development and peace articulated in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we need to collectively discuss the way forward on innovative Education and Peacebuilding interventions so that we ensure robust foundation for children and inspirational perspective for adolescents to grow into healthy, active and engaging learning environments to mitigate violence and promote peace.

Visit learningforpeace.unicef.org website

A Case for Children in Contexts of Conflict and Violence in South Asia

  • Children living in conflict affected northern and eastern region of Sri Lanka have lower school participation than the national average, widespread violence in Swat Valley of Pakistan led to communities being displaced, leading to drop in attendance.
  • 907,000 people fled their homes in North Waziristan and Khyber agencies (Pakistan). Ethnic violence in India’s Assam state displaced at least 345,000 people. School attendance for refugee and displaced children is comparatively low.
  • Civil strife due to Left Wing Extremism impacted functioning of schools in some of the Indian states.
  • Education remains under threat in Afghanistan, with schools, teachers and students facing attacks. Increase in use of children in armed conflict and violence.
  • Both Sri Lanka and Nepal are emerging from a protracted conflict situation. Peace is still fragile, service systems affected and social cohesion important.

Objectives

The Symposium is a timely opportunity for countries in the region to collectively reflect on the theme and plan ahead for the realization of the SDGs. The event links directly to UNICEF’s Strategic Plan to strengthen the resilience of children, caretakers and community systems through conflict-sensitive programming and peacebuilding.
The aim is to collectively analyze ongoing issues, actors, causes, structures and trends that characterize the conflicts in their respective countries, to find a way forward for contributing to peace building and well-being of women and children in the region. Furthermore the objectives are to generate awareness amongst stakeholders on the inter-relationship between education and sustainable peace and to identify approaches and activities to reach quality education to children affected by conflict.

The Symposium is planned around four key Themes:
Theme 1: Peace and Education: Meeting the SDG Agenda
Theme 2: Education and Peace Building: Education Policy, Systems and Teacher Agency
Theme 3: Life-cycle approach: education for young children and adolescents in conflict and post conflict settings
Theme 4: Way Forward: Panel Discussion

Key documents

Download the Regional Symposium OutCome Note

guest speakers

Ms. Una McCauley

Ms. Una McCauley

UNICEF Representative for Sri Lanka

Ms. Una McCauley

UNICEF
Mr. Philippe Cori

Mr. Philippe Cori

Deputy Regional Director of UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia

Mr. Philippe Cori

UNICEF

Professor Mario Novelli

Professor of the Political Economy of Education and Deputy Director of the Centre for International Education (CIE) at the University of Sussex

Professor Mario Novelli

University of Sussex
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Ms. Sameena Imtiaz

Executive Director, Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation

Ms.Sameena Imtiaz

Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation
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Professor Alan Smith

UNESCO Chair at Ulster University in Northern Ireland

Professor Alan Smith

Ulster University
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Hon Akila viraj Kariyawasam

Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka

Professor Lynn Davies

Emeritus Professor of International Education at the University of Birmingham, UK and Co-Director of the social enterprise ConnectJustice

Professor Lynn Davies

University of Birmingham
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Mr. Friedrich W Affolter

Manager of UNICEF’s Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Programme (PBEA) at UNICEF Headquarters in NY

Mr. Friedrich W Affolter

UNICEF
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Dr. Pratibha Singhi

Senior Professor and Head Department of Pediatrics and Chief, Pediatric Neurology and Neuro-Development at the Advanced Pediatrics Centre, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Chandigarh

Dr. Pratibha Singhi

Institute of Medical Education and Research Chandigarh
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Dr. Chemba Raghavan

Education Specialist at UNICEF East Asia Pacific Regional Office

Dr. Chemba Raghavan

UNICEF East Asia Pacific Regional Office

Dr. Mieke Lopes Cardozo

Tenured assistant professor at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam

Dr. Mieke Lopes Cardozo

University of Amsterdam
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Mr. R. Venkat Reddy

National Convener

Mr. R. Venkat Reddy

National Convener
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Mr. Bahirullah Wyaar

National Education Advisor

Mr. Bahirullah Wyaar

National Education Advisor
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Chairs

Mr. Abid Burki

Professor of Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences

Mr. Abid Burki

Professor of Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences

Ms. Natalie Fol

National Convener

Ms. Natalie Fol

Regional advisor with UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia

Ms. Farida Abdulla Khan

Regional advisor with UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia

Ms. Farida Abdulla Khan

Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the Jamia Millia Islamia

Ms. Urmila Sarkar

Regional Education Advisor for the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia

Ms. Urmila Sarkar

Regional Education Advisor for the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia

Agenda

venue

The Blue - Hotel Hilton Colombo

2 Sir Chittampalam
A Gardiner Mw
Colombo 02, Sri Lanka
+94 11 2544644 www.hilton.com

contact


Sanaullah Panezai
UNICEF South Asia
Education Specialist
spanezai@unicef.org
Phone: +977 9802048204


Geeta Menon
UNICEF South Asia
Education Specialist
gmenon@unicef.org
Phone: +977 9802048209


Christian Stoff
UNICEF Sri Lanka
Chief of Education
cstoff@unicef.org
+94-11-2677550, Ext 229