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SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON RIGHT TO EDUCATION CONDEMNS ATTACK ON SALABAGH SCHOOL IN AFGHANISTAN

19 April 2006

The following statement was issued today by the Special Rapporteur on the right to education of the United Nations, Vernor Muñoz Villalobos:

In my capacity as Special Rapporteur on the right to education, I wish to express my condolences, outrage and solidarity to the people of the Kunar province in Afghanistan for the loss of human life and serious injuries as a result of the terrorist attack by rocket on the Salabagh School in Asadabad.
I am deeply concerned that schools, especially girls’ schools, seem to be systematically targeted by terrorist groups with the apparent objective of forcing parents to refrain from sending their children to school and thus the authorities to close those schools. I, again, express my profound condemnation of the targeting of schools, children –boys and girls-, teachers and other innocent civilians for any reason. My thoughts are with the parents, family and friends of all those affected by this and similar attacks.
The fundamental human right to education includes the right to a safe education. Children have the right to safety in school establishments that are conducive to a positive learning environment. The right to education is essential for future generations to prosper.
I join my voice to those who unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms and express particular condemnation at the targeting of children. A response to terrorism firmly grounded on human rights and fundamental freedoms will further isolate those who commit such acts and contribute to better security for all.