Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on recent school shootings

15 November 2019

NEW YORK, 15 November 2019 – “On Thursday this week, two students were killed in a school shooting in Blagoveshchensk in eastern Russia.

“A few hours later, two other students were killed in a school shooting in California, USA. -

“Like all of us, I am shocked and saddened at such a tragic loss of young lives. My most sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims.

“Our hearts are indeed broken – not only for the families and loved ones of those whose lives were lost, but also for the survivors, those injured in these attacks, and those scarred by the trauma. School is a place of hope, optimism and preparation for a better world. It is no place for armed violence and murder.

“We owe it to children to keep them safe at school. We cannot ask our children to both look to the future while simultaneously ducking for cover. This is not just what I believe, it is what young people around the world are saying. Last year, UNICEF conducted a global consultation with young people from 160 countries and they sent a clear demand: ‘That policymakers pass and implement laws restricting the presence and use of any objects as weapons in schools, including but not limited to guns and knives.’

“The implicit contract between generations is that the present prepare the future in a safe and secure space, so they might one day inherit a more peaceful, prosperous world. Children are asking their governments to act. It is time.”

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