We know that education is the ultimate tool of empowerment, especially so for young people. Yet each of the complex challenges humanity faces puts evermore pressure on access to learning – the ability to flourish and live fulfilling lives.

This 20th June marks World Refugee Day and at LearningPlanet we are dedicating the month to recognising our Alliance members using education and learning as a tool for action for the ever-growing displaced, migrant and refugee communities. Actors for Change, beyond providing essential access and learning resources, are also holding up a pillar of justice in our societies; ensuring everyone’s access to education is respected, protected, and promoted.  

Let’s also take this opportunity to better understand the scale of the issue today, and how it is rapidly evolving…

As of the end of 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported 108.4 million individuals worldwide were forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. This number includes refugees, internally displaced people, asylum seekers, and individuals requiring international protection.

By the end of September 2023, this number had increased to more than 114 million individuals forcibly displaced worldwide, marking the largest ever single-year increase in the UNHCR’s history. This staggering increase was propelled by the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts, and recorded before the outbreak of the Gaza-Israel conflict in October 2023. 

Over half of all refugees are children. Six million of these children are of primary and secondary school age, but 48% of them do not have access to education. The average duration of a refugee’s exile is about 20 years, exceeding the length of a childhood and encompassing a substantial portion of an individual’s productive working life. 

Increasingly, climate and environmental degradation are also forcing people to leave their homes and lose access to essential services and support. UNESCO says that ‘within a few decades, climate could be a main reason for displacement’ and UNICEF notes that children on the move face multiple challenges to accessing and thriving in education. 

The International Organisation for Migration estimates of the number of environmental migrants by 2050 range from 25 million to 1 billion

The evolving migration situation, be it from conflict, persecution or climate, illustrates the critical role that Actors of Change play, and the importance of the grassroots, groundbreaking work they are doing to equip both students and teachers for the challenges ahead.

This June, LearningPlanet is proud to highlight their work, our Alliance partners striving to enable education access and the ability for everyone to flourish and live fulfilling lives.
Make sure you check out our reels introducing some of our Actors for Change and the series of reports and case studies from our community on this topic. If you know of individuals or organisations you feel we should include and highlight during June we’d love to hear about them from you!