Education rights of about 33,000 people in Artsakh have been flagrantly violated in the consequence of military aggression of Azerbaijan backed with Turkish military support and thousands of jihadist terrorist mercenaries from Syria (recruited by Turkey).
Since September 27, as a result of the Turkish-Azerbaijani terrorist war, all educational institutions in Artsakh have been closed for indefinite time. Among other infrastructures, educational institutions and cultural centers were hit. According to the official data, as of October 18, 2020, 18 school buildings, 6 kindergartens and 4 cultural centers were targeted and destroyed (including in Stepanakert, Hadrut, Shushi, Mataghis, Talish). Not only educational institutions in Artsakh, but also in the Republic of Armenia suffered from the aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan, in particular, the secondary schools of Sotk and Kut communities of Gegharkunik marz (region) were damaged by the strikes of the Azerbaijani UAV.
As a result of almost daily bombardment of the civilian objects, the population of Nagorno-Karabakh has been forced to take refuge in shelters, and part of the population has fled their homes and temporarily moved to the Republic of Armenia. This situation in its turn has made the exercise of the right to education even more unrealizable due to the inevitable outbreaks of COVID-19 in the given circumstances.
As a consequence, 24000 pupils do not attend school, 4016 kids do not attend kindergartens, 4986 students do not attend vocational schools, colleges and higher education institutions. Many pupils and students were killed and injured (according to the official data of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of the Republic of Artsakh).
Given the factual impact of the military aggression by Azerbaijan which has caused interruption and destruction of education in the Republic of Artsakh, there is a need for taking urgent action to prevent and stop the flagrant violation of education rights of the people of Artsakh. Therefore, we urge the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education to engage with the Government of Azerbaijan as soon as possible calling for immediate end of systematic targeting of educational institutions and peaceful population in the Republic of Artsakh.
Law Development and Protection Foundation
Transparency International Anticorruption Center
Protection of Rights without Borders NGO
Open Society Foundations-Armenia
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor