Children and youth in crisis and conflict-affected settings require safety and protection to enable learning. Increasing the safety of education services requires addressing internal, external, and environmental threats to students, teachers, and school communities. The provision of a safe learning environment requires deep knowledge of the context in which threats exist. To increase safety and protection from attack, education systems and schools can establish early warning systems, and when necessary, alternative learning spaces and distance learning options.

Increasing safety also means reducing school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV). USAID defines SRGBV as acts or threats of physical, sexual, or psychological violence or abuse based on gendered stereotypes that target students on the basis of their sex, sexuality, or gender identities. SRGBV negatively affects access to education for all children and youth. Community-level advocacy programs and in-school violence prevention programs can help reduce gang threats and violence. Finally, education services and institutions can foster a sense of individual and communal identity, build resilience and skills to counter violent extremist narratives and ideology, and change attitudes and behaviors towards violence.

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