3.7 million refugee children out of school

Elias Hubbard
September 1, 2019

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has said that Japan's approval rate for refugees is "quite low", calling for improvement in the nation's treatment of asylum-seekers, including the practice of detaining such individuals while their cases are being examined.

Last year, nearly four in every five refugees lived in protracted conflict, up sharply on the previous year, meaning that refugee children are very likely to go through an entire school cycle - from age five to 18 - in exile.

However, the issue becomes more acute when refugee students become of age to attend secondary schools.

The agency warned that due to a lack of funding, the older these children become, the harder it becomes for them to overcome educational barriers.

Only six in 10 refugee children attend primary school - compared to nine in 10 globally - and only around two in 10 refugees get a secondary education, compared to the world average of more than eight in 10.

"The effect is devastating", the report said. "Without the stepping stone of secondary school, progress made over the past year will be short-lived and the futures of millions of refugee children will be thrown away".

The UNHCR called on governments and donors to fund a new initiative to build secondary schools, train teachers and cover education costs for refugee families.

It noted that children from host communities also stand to profit if additional schools are built.

"If they have nothing to occupy their day and no clear employment prospects, adolescents are more vulnerable to exploitation and more likely to turn to illegal activities out of desperation", the report said.

The Global Compact urges more support to refugees and the often poverty-stricken communities that host them, and make refugees more self-reliant to give them and their host communities a better future.

"Forced displacement is not just a humanitarian phenomenon; it's a global crisis that requires global strategic instruments to respond to", Grandi said at a high-level meeting in Yokohama, held as part of the seventh Tokyo International Conference on Development in Africa.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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