In 2016, out of 6.4 million primary and secondary school-age
refugees around the world, an estimated 3.5 million had no school
to go to. Only 61% of refugee children had access to primary education
compared with a global level among non-refugees of 91%, and an average
of 23% refugee adolescents attended lower secondary school compared
to 84% of non-refugee adolescents.
Schools should be safe places for children to grow, socialise
and learn together, but schools are still being used as targets
or military bases in conflict zones. Even in countries not at war,
they may be the scene of unacceptable demonstrations of coercion
by armed forces, such as expulsions of irregular migrants. Asylum procedures
are sometimes used as a pretext to deny children schooling, and
segregation used as a way to avoid addressing linguistic or cultural
This report highlights the gap between States’ undertakings
under domestic and international legislation on primary and secondary
education and its actual delivery to migrant and refugee children.
Examples from Council of Europe member States illustrate good practices
and many areas for improvement. The recommendations constitute a
“checklist” of conditions for ensuring migrant children’s education.