Welcome to the official website of the Fourth International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration.
The Government of Nigeria, together with the Governments of Argentina, Norway, Spain, as well as the African Union Commission and the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack are hosting the Abuja Conference. The aim of the conference is to galvanize action on protecting education from attack.
The Safe Schools Declaration has been endorsed by 112 States
The Safe Schools Declaration has been endorsed by 112 States
Over the past decade, Nigeria has witnessed attacks on education and in an attempt to find a multilateral approach to solving this menace Nigeria joined the first group of 37 countries that endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) on May 29th, 2015. The Honourable Minister of Education signed the letter of endorsement on March 8th 2018. This was followed by the approval for ratification by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 2019. In signing and ratifying the SSD, President Muhammadu Buhari formally declared Nigeria’s acceptance to implement the provisions of the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use During Armed Conflict.
The SSD framework has enabled Nigeria to systematically develop strategies and mechanisms to protect education. Drawing from the SSD Guidelines, Nigeria has developed a National Policy for Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools as a response to the needs of children and the violence that affects them in and around schools. In addition, we have identified and put mechanisms in place to address all kinds of hazards that affect the wellbeing of learners, teachers, school users and the school community to ensure the safety and security of schools in Nigeria. The recently developed Minimum Standards for Safe Schools will communicate the mechanisms to be put in place by all schools to address all kinds of hazards and violence for the continuation of schooling at all times. Also, the SSD Trainer’s Guide and Participants’ manuals are currently being used to train security agencies and human rights organisations on the protection of education. In the situation that we have found ourselves as a nation, endorsing the SSD has charted a practical pathway in safeguarding the right to education in our context.
Nigeria will be hosting the 4th International on the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) in partnership with the African Union Commission, Argentina, Norway, Spain and the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). The conference will be held from 25th -27th October, 2021, in Abuja, Nigeria, and virtually. The theme of this year’s conference is “Ensuring Safe Education for All: From Commitment to Practice”.
The Abuja Conference aims to:
- Share good practice in implementing key commitments in the Declaration to inspire other states to adapt the practice within their own context;
- Forge global cooperation and strengthen coordination in protecting education and deterring military use of schools and universities by bringing together education, defence, justice and foreign affairs ministries, and multilateral and civil society organizations, to discuss prevention and response measures;
- Identify actions governments can take to better achieve accountability for attacks on education and justice for victims, by building and strengthening international and national legal mechanisms.
Governments that endorse the Declaration make a commitment to take concrete steps to improve reporting of attacks on education; investigate allegations of violations of applicable national and international law and, where appropriate, duly prosecute perpetrators; and ensure the continuation of education during armed conflict. Endorsing states also commit to use the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use During Armed Conflict, as far as possible and as appropriate. The Guidelines are a non-binding practical tool that offers guidance to parties to conflict in exercising restraint in using schools and universities for military purposes, helping to safeguard the civilian character of such facilities. Further, endorsing states support meeting regularly – strengthening dialogue and international cooperation in protecting education.
Following recent endorsements by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ghana, Algeria, Timor-Leste, Mexico, Togo and Senegal, 111 states have now joined the Safe Schools Declaration. This represents a significant majority of all UN members, African Union, the Organization of American States, and the European Union. Support for the Declaration has come from the highest levels of the UN, including Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has urged all UN member states to endorse. A number of endorsing states have begun to implement the commitments contained within the Safe Schools Declaration, and some examples of this are included in the Practical Impact of the Safe Schools Declaration and Implementation Resource Bank.
Excellency, in the spirit of attaining universal endorsement of the Declaration, the Conference provides an opportunity for more Member States to announce their endorsement and commit to safeguarding education in conflict. In line with your government’s commitment to safeguard education in conflict, we humbly request that you highlight its endorsement before or at the forthcoming conference. The procedure for endorsing the Declaration is to send a letter signed by a government official to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, either through an embassy or permanent mission at any time.
We look forward to formally welcoming your country as one of the new endorsing states during the 4th International Conference in Abuja, Nigeria.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Abuja Conference will be a hybrid event with in-person and virtual components to accommodate all participants. The Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) is responsible for adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols and will be providing guidance and ensure compliance for the duration of the conference.
Interpretation services will be available for English, Arabic, French, and Spanish
Participation is open to government representatives of all UN member states, international organizations, civil society, and academia. Governments are kindly requested to nominate at least four (4) officials (at least one representative each from the Ministries of Education, Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Justice) to participate in the Conference.
All participants joining virtually are requested to register for the Conference here. Government delegates who wish to participate in-person are requested to write directly to email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Abuja Conference will be a hybrid event with in-person and virtual components to accommodate all delegates. Diplomats, senior government delegates and speakers who wish to participate in-person are requested to write directly to the NATIONAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE (NOC) at email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org by MONDAY 4th OCTOBER 2021. THE EMAIL TO THE NOC SHOULD INCLUDE ALL THE DOCUMENTATION FOR A VISA LISTED UNDER THE VISA REQUIRMENTS BELOW.
This will be the first time the Conference will be held on the African continent. Nigeria is fully committed to following all guidelines and measures to keep you safe. Please note that the information below is subject to change based on evolving guidelines issued by relevant government agencies.
Before you Travel
- Letter of invitation from Nigeria
- All attendees will need to print their official invitation and hotel booking confirmation before travelling
- Visa Requirements
- Attendees are required to apply via email to the NOC for a visa, which will be issued upon arrival at the airport. The requirements are to have a passport with validity of up to 6 months after entry into the country, proof of accommodation, airline confirmation and return ticket, an invitation letter, medical travel insurance and a travel itinerary. Following approval by immigration, copies of the approval is sent to each delegate to enable them to board their flight. Upon arrival in Nigeria, delegates will be issued with a visa after making the required visa payment
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test (strictly for the Abuja Conference)
- Negative PCR test result performed not more than 72 hours before departure from country of origin is mandatory for all travellers to Nigeria
- All travellers are expected to register on the Nigeria International Travel Portal
- Ensure a Quick Response (QR) code is generated from the portal
- Once a request has been made to the NOC for a visa, diplomats, senior government delegates and speakers from non-restricted countries will be considered for a special waiver by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC-COVID-19) from seven-day self-isolation
- Travellers from non-restricted countries that do not require a visa to Nigeria should write directly to the NOC to be considered for a special waiver by the PSC-COVID-19 from seven-day self-isolation
- Diplomats, senior government delegates and speakers from restricted countries are encouraged to participate virtually as they will not be granted an exemption from self-isolation/mandatory isolation
- Upon arrival, all travellers including diplomats will be subjected to routine health screening by port health services at Point of Entry. More information on travel protocol for diplomats is available here
- A copy of PSC-COVID-19 waiver must be tendered to Port Health Services desk at Point of Entry
- All travellers are to adhere to all COVID-19 prevention guidelines while on transit
- Do I need to be vaccinated?
- Vaccination against COVID-19 is highly recommended but not mandatory for travellers to Nigeria. Every traveller to Nigeria will still perform all required PCR tests and adhere to the travel protocol on arrival in the country irrespective of their vaccination status
- Where can I find further information regarding the COVID-19 Guidelines in Nigeria?
- Kindly visit the NCDC COVID-19 Microsite
- Partner hotels
- The NOC has partnered with the following hotels to offer delegates a discounted rate. In addition, free shuttle bus services will also be provided at these hotels
- Safety Tips
- It is always sensible to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking alone late at night – especially long distances. October in Abuja is dry season; so the sun will set around 6.30pm
- Medical Travel Insurance
- Ensure you have medical travel insurance with international coverage for COVID-19 before travelling
Arriving at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
- At the Airport
- On arrival, you will go through screening from port health services, immigration and customs. Protocol officers designated to the Abuja Conference will be on hand to facilitate your entry into Nigeria
- Free Wi-Fi available throughout the airport
- Do not entrust your items to anyone
- Do not leave your items unattended
- There are foreign exchange providers at the airport
- Identify security personnel deployed for the Abuja Conference
- Free shuttle buses will be made available at designated times to delegates who have booked with partner hotels. Delegates will be requested to present a printed copy of their booking confirmation to use the shuttle service
- Do I need to Quarantine on Arrival (strictly for the Abuja Conference)?
- Once a request has been made to the NOC for a visa, senior government delegates and speakers can be considered for a waiver from self- isolation by the PSC-COVID-19
- Are face masks mandatory?
- Wearing a face mask is mandatory at all times
- Other ways of getting around
- Taxi companies
- Use registered taxis at the airport
- Uber / Bolt
- You can download the app on your phone and book a car through there. You will be charged according to your data rates for international roaming
- Taxi companies
Arriving at the Venue/During the Event
- Transportation to the conference venue
- There will be free shuttle buses to ferry delegates from partner hotels to the conference venue
- Registration Process
- Present your printed letter of invitation and means of identification
- Conference materials will be handed to you
- Admission is strictly by letter of invitation only
- What COVID-19 prevention measures will be in place?
- The conference hall will be filled to 50% of its original capacity
- Other COVID-19 preventive measures will be strictly adhered to
- What happens if someone has a high temperature?
- The person will be separated from others and a test will be performed using Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits. If the test confirms COVID-19, they would be moved to a treatment centre for isolation and treatment
- What happens if I get sick at the venue?
- A temperature reading will take place, followed by confirmation with RDT kit. This may require admission based on the clinical evaluation by an attending physician
Leaving Abuja, Nigeria
- Do I need to do a PCR test before leaving Abuja?
- Performance of PCR test is based on the requirement by the country of destination. Kindly check the requirements of the country of destination
- Where do I get a PCR test done in Abuja?
- To get tested, visit a test centre closest to you. List of test centres can be found here
Departing to Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Abuja
- Shuttle buses will be available at partner hotels to convey delegates to the airport
PRESIDENTIAL STEERING COMMITTEE ON COVID-19 OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION
October 15, 2021
RELEASE OF REVISED INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL PROTOCOL INTO NIGERIA
The Chairman of Presidential Steering Committee/ Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has released the revised travel protocol into Nigeria effective Monday, 25th October, 2021 as follows:
- Travellers arriving in Nigeria must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result conducted not more than 72 hours before boarding,
- Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated in-bound passengers will be required to observe a mandatory 7-day self-isolation in addition to a COVID-19 PCR test on days 2 and 7 after arrival,
- Fully vaccinated in-bound passengers will not be required to observe the mandatory 7-days self isolation but will be required to do a COVID-19 PCR test on day 2 of arrival;
- Persons arriving on "Business" trip or on official duty staying less than 7 days in Nigeria must
- be fully vaccinated
- produce negative COVID-19 PCR result 72 hours before boarding; and
- conduct a PCR test on day 2 of their arrival.
- It will be recalled that the PSC Chairman, Boss Mustapha, had during the national briefing, promised that a revised travel protocol would be published. The review of the protocol is based on science, national experience, and global developments.
Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee/
Secretary to the Government of the Federation
A series of national and global pre-events are taking place.
28 May 2021 - A virtual briefing and commemorative event on The Safe Schools Declaration: Towards the Abuja Conference and marking the 6th Anniversary
15 July 2021 – Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Briefing for Embassies in Abuja, UN Agencies and NGOs