More than half a million children in Mali and Burkina Faso are deprived of their right to education

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

On the "Day of the African Child", Educo, a worldwide organization of child rights, investment demands and implementation of educational alternatives in the area affected by the conflict in northern Sahel of Africa.

Educo, a global NGO dedicated to children triggered the alarm by closing over 2,800 schools in Mali and Burkina Faso to worsen the crisis in the Sahel region, depriving at least 580,000 school children and teachers forcing thousands to leave their jobs.

José María Faura, director general de Educo, warns that the lack of educational opportunities even more difficult recovery from the crisis, which in turn can lead to increased poverty and social instability.

"Every day, our field team to see how children are deprived of their right to education. Educo knows from experience that children and unschooled girls are at greater risk of being trafficked, abuse or exploitation. Girls are particularly vulnerable to early marriage, domestic work, sexual abuse and other forms of gender violence ", says Faura.

A Burkina Faso, where Educo works from 2004, staff organization has found Belem, of 15 years old and Bourba, of 12 years. Both were forced to flee the city for shelter and work. according Educo, the truck carrying the two girls and others 56 children was intercepted by police in November 2018.

Bourba states that "came to Ouahigouya to work as a nanny in a family. I did not let studies, This year was supposed to be at sixth, but because of the security situation in our village, Our school was closed. I do not think that classes will resume because even teachers refuse to come to class because of the armed groups that are in the village and hid in the bush ".

"We were in Ouaga, the city, during the holidays. When we returned to our village to resume classes, we realized that unfortunately, classes had been canceled due to insecurity in the region. So we decided to Ouagadougou to find a job. As we get employ as domestic workers ", explains Belem.

Educo warns that if schools remain closed for a longer period, Sahel region risk losing a generation of students.

José María Faura adds that "the best way to maintain the safety of children is to confirm that state actors and the humanitarian community prioritize education. But the right to education is often overlooked, since it is not considered "survival".

On the occasion of the "Day of the African Child", Educo appeals to all actors involved in the crisis to meet international laws and standards, respect the rights of children and maximize their welfare.

"We are pleased that both the government of Mali like Burkina Faso have approved the Declaration of Safe Schools, a key first step and a fundamental policy statement to protect schools affected by this crisis will. But there's still a lot to do", manifest representatives of non-governmental organization.