08 December 2016

THE: Global coalition sets out how to keep universities safe from harm

The prime responsibility, it asserts, lies with states to “abstain from direct or complicit involvement in attacks on higher education”, for example by “avoid[ing] ideological or partisan uses of higher education facilities which might foster a perception of the university as a politicized agent”.
They must try and protect institutions from attack by “safeguarding the civilian character of universities” and by “limit[ing] the use of higher education facilities for military purposes, so as to avoid converting universities into military objectives and exposing them to attack by other parties to conflict”.
Where attacks do occur, the report goes on, states must obviously provide “physical assistance to victims”, but also the kind of “psychosocial programs” that can play “a key role in encouraging academic staff to continue their research and teaching, and in preventing drop-out and low levels of attendance among university students”.
Furthermore, through “responsible, timely, and thorough investigation of attacks”, they can “send a positive message to the higher education sector and the public about the importance of higher education. Investigations and appropriate prosecution and sentencing of perpetrators after fair and impartial proceedings demonstrate that such acts will not be tolerated, which can help to deter future attacks”.  


Guide to Implementing the Principles of State Responsibility to
Protect Higher Education from Attack

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