Education services are crucial to provide in emergencies because:

    • It is a right as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international legal instruments.
    • Education in Emergencies is life-saving because it provides key survival messages such as land mine safety, HIV and AIDS prevention, prevention from easily preventable diseases such as diarrhoea.
    • Education is “life-sustaining” because it offers structure, stability and hope for the future. Educational environments, formal and non-formal, are one of the most important social structures in young people’s lives. In the midst of loss and change, absence of learning and schooling intensifies the impact of conflict.
    • Education provides for physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection.

Physical Protection Example

Children in schools or safe spaces will have a safe place to go and thus will not leave the camp. This would thereby reduce the risk of abuse, harm and exploitation, violence, and neglect.

Psychosocial Protection Example

Children in schools or child friendly safe spaces will have other young people and adults to talk to and share their experiences with. They will also have a chance to participate in recreational and creative activities through play, drawing, sports, story, song/music, dance and help them get their minds off of the trauma of the emergency.

Cognitive Protection Example

Children in schools or safe spaces will learn important things about preventable diseases, hygiene and how to stay safe from land mines. They may learn a new language such as English or French.

  • Affected communities want education. See the video clip.


The INEE Minimum Standards provide a framework to ensure quality education services in emergencies through recovery and development.

Education staff should work in partnership with other sectors (e.g., health, water/sanitation, shelter, camp coordination and camp management) to ensure education is integral to their responses and that aspects of their sectors are integrated into the education provided to affected communities.