Letter to War-Makers: Ensure Children Still Go to School

By Mary Ann Zehr — November 20, 2008 1 min read
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Thirty-one Nobel Peace Prize winners have signed a letter calling for governments and “other parties to armed conflict” to respect schools as places of peace and safety for children. The letter (update: click on the link in the press release) calls for world leaders to ensure that children can learn free from intimidation or recruitment into the armed forces. It asks that governments make sure children have access to high-quality schooling regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or language. See the BBC’s take here.

This letter is relevant to educators of English-language learners in the United States because many immigrant children come from war-torn countries and have missed a lot of school. Many refugee children from Iraq, for example, have lost several years of school because of war or displacement.

Among the signers of the letter are former President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Elie Wiesel. Save the Children coordinated the writing of the letter, which is part of a global campaign to urge world leaders to pay attention to the 37 million children who live in conflict-ridden areas and can’t go to school.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.