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European Parliament calls for full access to education for refugee children

Tue, 12 Jan 2016 | By NNA staff


Photo: hikrcn / Shutterstock.com

BRUSSELS (NNA) – The European Parliament has called on host countries to help integrate child refugees in their national education systems and points out in a resolution adopted at the end of November that education reduces the risk of young people becoming engaged in extremism.

MEPs call on all such countries “to ensure that refugee children are given full access to education, and to promote as far as possible their integration and inclusion in the national education systems”.

The parliament highlights the fact that young people aged between 12 and 20 have very limited opportunities within refugee communities, while at the same time being prime targets for military service and other forms of engagement in armed conflict.

Crucial role

The resolution calls on the EU to work with partner countries and other donors to improve educational opportunities for young people in emergencies, given the crucial role that they can play in ensuring post-conflict stability and to reduce at the same time the risk of a "young, out-of-work population causing social upheaval or slipping back into a vicious cycle of violence".

MEPs also call on member states to support the Commission's aim of increasing the share of EU humanitarian funds for the education of children in emergencies to four percent.

According to UN estimates, one billion children live in conflict-affected areas, of whom 250 million are under the age of five and are denied their fundamental right to education. An estimated 65 million children aged three to 15 are most affected by emergencies and protracted crises, with the risk of disruption to their education, and approximately 37 million children of primary and lower secondary age and our of school in crisis-affected countries.

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Item: 160112-01EN Date: 12 January 2016 

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