Education for Refugees

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There are more than 65 million people who have been forced from their homes worldwide. Girls who leave from their homes are often the most vulnerable and are the least likely to be in school. The U.S. government can play a critical role in ensuring all girls have access to education.

Poverty and conflict result are resulting in millions of families fleeing their homes. And with prolonged conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, the refugee crisis is more urgent now than ever before. School enrollment among refugee children is much lower than the global average. Refugee students often have no schools nearby to attend, and schools that accept refugees struggle with a lack of learning materials, overcrowded classes, and language barriers.

Refugee girls who are not in school are especially vulnerable to early marriage, human trafficking, and child labor. The U.S. should work to ensure all girls who have been forced to flee from their homes can still continue their education.

Update: On October 3, 2017 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2408 with unanimous consent. We’re now asking supporters to contact their Senators to ensure S. 1580 passes the U.S. Senate.

Take action now by contacting your Senator to support S. 1580 and thank your Representative!

Contact Your U.S. Senator         Thank Your Representative

About the Legislation

H.R. 2408 and S. 1580, Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act, focuses on the 65 million people who have been displaced from their homes, especially the 50% who are under the age of 18. This bill would make it the sense of U.S. Congress that it is critical to ensure displaced children have access to educational services, receive quality education, and that the educational needs of girls and women are considered in the design, implementation, and evaluation of our foreign assistance programs. The bill was introduced by Representative Steve Chabot (OH) and Representative Robin Kelly (IL) in the House and Senator Marco Rubio (FL) and Senator Menendez (NJ) in the Senate.

Learn more by reading the Education for Vulnerable Girls Bill Brief.

What does the bill do?

To ensure refugees get the education they need, the bill calls on the U.S. government to:

  • Encourage countries to support efforts to provide refugees with access to safe, quality primary and secondary education.
  • Enhance training and capacity-building for national governments hosting refugees by providing coordination among the United Nations, World Bank, local and international non-governmental organizations, and other parts of civil society.
  • Promote the hosting of refugees within local educational systems, especially with innovative solutions such as shift schools and extended hours.
  • Incorporate measures to evaluate the impact of education on the lives of girls with respect to reduction of child marriage, gender-based violence, trafficking, and forced labor.

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