No Lost Generations


International law protects the right to education for refugee children, as is stated in multiple treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951), the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (1966), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990), as well as the most recently adopted Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities (2006). Traditionally all humanitarian aid consists of three core humanitarian “pillars”, where the focus is on food, medicine, and shelter. The international community has recognized that education is a fundamental right, but more must be done to ensure that it is better funded and included in all emergency responses. This can be achieved by incorporating education as the fourth core “pillar” of humanitarian aid. The purpose of this research study, is to highlight the historical development of education for refugee children, through programs led by Intergovernmental Organizations, as well as to emphasize the importance of education as part of current humanitarian interventions. It examines a past example of children as refugees, centered on Jewish children located in concentration and displacement camps during and in the aftermath of the Holocaust, using oral history testimonies of six Holocaust via face to face interviews. Contemporary examples focus on education for Syrian refugee children living inside Syria and also in camps operated in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey Finally, it describes complexities and trade-offs, offering practical recommendations as well as needed areas of further research.


Education, Refugee, Human Rights, Holocaust, Syria


2019 Special Focus: "Learning to Make a Social Difference"


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Mary Stylidi
    • Consultant and Regional Commissioner, Special Education, Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religion Affairs, Greece Greece