COVID-19 Refugees' Return to Schooling Guidelines, 2020

Publication language
Date published
17 Dec 2020
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Children & youth, Multi-sector/cross-sector, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Education, Forced displacement and migration, Internal Displacement, Refugee Camps, Gender, Protection, human rights & security

This document aims to provide practical suggestions – for UNHCR operations and partners - on how the specific needs of refugee children, youth and families can be addressed as schools begin to re-open. It complements and draws on detailed guidance issued by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, Global Education Cluster, other UN agencies and NGOs and includes links to key resources.

Ensuring a safe and full return to schooling by refugee children and youth depends on cross-sectoral action. This guide has therefore been designed as a resource document for use by UNHCR multi-functional teams, including Community-Based Protection, Cash, WASH, Livelihoods, Health, Programme and Communications with Communities specialists.

In countries, where refugees are included in the national education system and attend host country schools, UNHCR may have higher levels of engagement in advocacy and policy discussions with national governments and less operational presence in the education sector. This document acknowledges these different operational contexts and offers recommendations on advocacy to ensure the full, equitable inclusion of refugees in back to school programmes and practical actions for contexts where there is greater operational engagement in the delivery of education programmes (both formal and non-formal).

This document is intended to supplement and complement other guidance on returning to schooling and can be read alongside documents such as the Framework for Returning to Schooling (UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO, World Bank and UNHCR) and Safe back to schools – a practitioner’s guide issued by the Global Education Cluster and Child Protection Area of Responsibility. Additional information and resources can also be found in the INEE Resource Collection on COVID-19.