Crossposted courtesy of the Oxford Human Rights Hub (February 2, 2016).
As of January 10 2017, 57 states have endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration, setting out the importance of protecting schools during armed conflict. This post summarises a mini seriesprobing the international legal protection of education, and the Declaration, in the context of non/international armed conflict. Each of the four postings (published here and here) begins by recallingthe violated spaces of learning of the recent past. Again and again, such attacks have caused senior representatives of the United Nations to state: ‘even wars have rules’. Of course, there is credence to the view that those rules, in the words of Antonio Cassese, ‘hold Armageddon only partially at bay’. Certainly today — from San’a to Aleppo and beyond — they remain apparently ‘all too often checkmated by sheer power’. And, this necessarily places pressure on foundational humanitarian rules.