Paris, 4 June 2023 (TDI): UNESCO has highlighted the rising proportion of climate-displaced people globally in a series of tweets. It advocated quick action to safeguard education rights from climate change’s effects.
The organization underscored the value of prioritizing education to enable successful climate action and mitigate the severe repercussions of climate change.
The frightening surge in climate-related disasters has forced millions of people to flee their homes. According to regional reports by UNESCO on climate change “hotspots” in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and South-Eastern Europe, these relocations have a significant negative impact on the right to education.
School disruptions, worsened poverty, language hurdles, and the buildup of human mobility fluxes are among the primary concerns addressed in the research.
One of the most severe educational impediments mentioned in the surveys is the destruction or damage to schools caused by natural disasters. Furthermore, using schools as emergency shelters exacerbates school interruptions.
The findings also underline climate change’s great potential to cause or exacerbate poverty, making it harder for displaced people to invest in education-related expenses.
Language barriers are another significant impediment to schooling for climate-displaced youth. Forcing children to attend school in a language they do not understand or that is not their mother tongue severely limits their access to and school achievement.
Furthermore, the surge of climate-displaced persons adds to the issues that schools confront, such as a lack of classroom space or teachers due to rural migration and refugee movements.
According to UNESCO’s report, there needs to be coordinated policies and responses to support the right to education for climate-displaced individuals. Most countries examined do not have explicit policies concentrating on the education rights of persons displaced by climate change.
Developing targeted interventions and legal rights for those who have been replaced by climate change, including access to education, is made more challenging by the lack of political or legal legitimacy.
The international organization underlines the need for comprehensive, intersectoral, and multifaceted initiatives to remove these impediments. The organization urges policymakers to take immediate action to incorporate education into climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives. It also encourages nations to prioritize education by adopting the report’s operational recommendations.
Additionally, UNESCO states that it will continue to support Quality Education for All, one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4, as part of its initiatives. The organization’s Global Report, to be published by the year’s end, will provide more input into creating efficient policies and strategies to safeguard the right to education in the face of climate change and displacement.
UNESCO urges governments, policymakers, and stakeholders to join forces and promote the right to education in climate change response and resilience-building activities. It also claimed that investing in education and reducing the barriers that climate-displaced people confront can help to achieve a more fair and sustainable future for everyone.