Safe Schools

Thank you for contacting me about the Safe Schools Declaration.
 
The intention of the Safe Schools Declaration is for countries to support the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military use During Armed Conflict. I am firmly of the belief that schools should be a place of safety, learning and peace, not violence and conflict and I know that the Government welcomed the spirit of this initiative.
 
However, following careful consideration, Ministers and officials have raised concerns that the guidelines do not mirror the exact language and content of International Humanitarian Law. Therefore, as the Government considers that the full implementation of International Humanitarian Law provides the best protection for civilians in all situations of armed conflict, it is not able to sign the Safe Schools Declaration. This is a view shared by other countries, including Australia, Canada and France.
 
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.