This comprehensive handbook focuses on education-related violations in situations of insecurity and armed conflict. It explores the international legal protection afforded to both the right to education as a human right and education more generally under international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
With this in mind, this Handbook aims to draw together those aspects of international law that are relevant to education-related violations in situations of insecurity and armed conflict. Education is the focus of this Handbook and runs throughout each of its chapters, linking legal provisions from various regimes in a novel way: through their relevance to education; and their potential utility to those seeking to protect education from the violation.
To achieve this, this Handbook will consider the relevant aspects of the following regimes:
- International human rights law (IHRL);
- International humanitarian law (IHL); and
- International criminal law (ICL).
This Handbook should be read as a legal resource on which others may base their own work to protect education, tailoring its content to fit their own situation. The intention is that it will be used primarily as a resource for national and international lawyers seeking to understand. better how international law protects education. It is intended to be a useful tool for national lawyers, who may not be familiar with the rules and mechanisms of international law, and for international lawyers who may not have considered how the legal regimes dealt with here operate in relation to education. It should enable a lawyer appearing before a court, and the judge before whom they appear, to refer to the relevant international law with confidence.
The focus of this Handbook is on education-related violations in situations of insecurity and armed conflict. It explores the international legal protection afforded to both the right to education as a human right, and education more generally under IHRL, IHL, and ICL. It is restricted to considering issues in the context of situations of insecurity and armed conflict and, therefore, only a limited range of other rights will be considered. This restriction is of particular relevance as, while the right to education has been considered in depth by a number of international human rights lawyers, the focus on situations of insecurity and armed conflict and the interaction with other international legal regimes have not been dealt with in such depth. Accordingly, this Handbook examines those rights affecting education that are likely to be at particular risk during situations of insecurity and armed conflict. As a consequence, more civil and political rights are considered here than economic, social and cultural rights, while recognizing that the latter are at constant risk of lack of protection, especially in developing and post-conflict societies.
In order to undertake this examination, it is first necessary to set out the key terms used in, and the meaning attributed to each term within this Handbook. This clarification is important because some of the terms used here are legally defined and must be precisely understood. Other terms suffer from inconsistent use across various fields. This section identifies the meaning of each key term used and, through this, sets out the factual and legal scope examined.