The Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU), the platform of 34 School Student Unions all over Europe, expresses its deep concerns towards the Russian military aggression taking place in Ukraine. Over the past months, we have seen an escalation of military activity on the Ukrainian border, which has led to a state of political and social turmoil for the citizens of Ukraine. This turmoil strongly affects all aspects of Ukrainian society, including the educational system and the lives of school students. Due to these military escalations, thousands of families have been displaced and separated, which will have devastating effects on the lives of young people all over Ukraine.
According to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, everyone has the right to education. This fundamental right represents one of the pillars of international law, which, under conditions of armed conflict, is impossible to achieve. Next to the Human Right to Education, we also want to stress the necessity to respect the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which offers a special status to children who are caught in the middle of armed conflicts. In line with our values, OBESSU urges states to protect vulnerable categories, such as school students, from the hazard of war. It is times like these when the European and Global communities must act as a united front, striving to maintain peace and offering help to Ukrainian families affected by this conflict.
It is written in our DNA that our fight must always include democratic principles building peaceful schools and communities: in Europe and all over the world. Therefore, OBESSU has the duty to speak up when School Students are not guaranteed their right to education, to democracy and peace. We are deeply shocked by the current developments, and support the demand for a quick de-escalation. Additionally, we join the statement of the Global Student Forum.
OBESSU stands in solidarity with Ukrainian school students and student organisations, in their efforts to combat disinformation and in their fight for their fundamental rights. Additionally, we demand the Member States of the European Union to support the Ukrainian population with all their resources, such as providing safe refuge and Asylum for Ukrainian citizens.