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When Crises Strike: Part 1 in Series on Education in Emergencies

From: UNICEF
Series: Beyond School Books
Length: 29:49

This Story is Free! Its part 1 in a six part series on Education in Emergencies and features Moderator Amy Costello in a conversation with Radhika Coomaraswamy and Gene Sperling

Default-piece-image-0 Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, is a lawyer from Sri Lanka and a former UN Special Rappateur on Violence against Women. Gene Sperling, a Senior Fellow for Economic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and Director of the Center for Universal Education, previously served as National Economic Advisor to former US President Bill Clinton. In countries caught in a cycle of ongoing conflict, as well as those emerging from war, the rights of children and the right to education are most at risk. Communities in these nations consistently rank education as a high priority for support during and after a crisis - demonstrating that education is an indispensable tool for social transformation. "The notion that education is a luxury is something we have to take away in conflict situations," Radhika Coomaraswamy said during her discussion with Gene Sperling this week. "No one ever sees a 'Frontline' or a CNN camera showing a child dying of lack of education - you never see that moment - but there is no question that children die from lack of education all the time," added Mr. Sperling. Ms. Coomaraswamy and Mr. Sperling made their comments in the first instalment of "Beyond School Books", a series of discussions that are being recorded at the UN radio studios in New York and distributed online and through UNICEF Radio podcasts. UNICEF has launched the series - hosted by Amy Costello, a former correspondent for Public Radio International - to help advance the discussion on the role of education in countries affected by conflict, natural disaster or emerging from crisis. The discussions are part of UNICEF and partners renewed efforts to support education in emergencies and post-crisis transition countries. The predicament of children in these countries is the focus of an international collaboration using education to promote more efficient relief during and after emergencies - and to build back national systems better than before.

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Piece Description

Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, is a lawyer from Sri Lanka and a former UN Special Rappateur on Violence against Women. Gene Sperling, a Senior Fellow for Economic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and Director of the Center for Universal Education, previously served as National Economic Advisor to former US President Bill Clinton. In countries caught in a cycle of ongoing conflict, as well as those emerging from war, the rights of children and the right to education are most at risk. Communities in these nations consistently rank education as a high priority for support during and after a crisis - demonstrating that education is an indispensable tool for social transformation. "The notion that education is a luxury is something we have to take away in conflict situations," Radhika Coomaraswamy said during her discussion with Gene Sperling this week. "No one ever sees a 'Frontline' or a CNN camera showing a child dying of lack of education - you never see that moment - but there is no question that children die from lack of education all the time," added Mr. Sperling. Ms. Coomaraswamy and Mr. Sperling made their comments in the first instalment of "Beyond School Books", a series of discussions that are being recorded at the UN radio studios in New York and distributed online and through UNICEF Radio podcasts. UNICEF has launched the series - hosted by Amy Costello, a former correspondent for Public Radio International - to help advance the discussion on the role of education in countries affected by conflict, natural disaster or emerging from crisis. The discussions are part of UNICEF and partners renewed efforts to support education in emergencies and post-crisis transition countries. The predicament of children in these countries is the focus of an international collaboration using education to promote more efficient relief during and after emergencies - and to build back national systems better than before.

Broadcast History

This piece has never been broadcast on public radio.

Timing and Cues

It times out at 29:30 and could be used as a half-hour special or sections, excerpts of the words of the experts Coomaraswamy and Sperling could be used.

Related Website

http://www.unicef.org