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La educación no puede esperar

LONDRES – "Recuerda la cara del hombre más pobre y más débil que hayas visto y pregúntate si ese paso que estás considerando dar le será de alguna utilidad". Esas palabras, pronunciadas por Mahatma Gandhi en 1948, deberían tomarse como una prueba de nuestra sinceridad, y como un desafío para nuestra complacencia, cuando se considera el destino de los 30 millones de niños desplazados de sus hogares como consecuencia de guerras civiles y desastres naturales.

Desde 1945 que no se registraba un número tan alto de niños y niñas desarraigados como resultado de una crisis. Probablemente estos niños pasen sus años de escolaridad sin pisar un aula y terminen con sus talentos subdesarrollados y su potencial desaprovechado. Hoy hay 75 millones de jóvenes cuya educación se ha visto interrumpida por el conflicto y la crisis. Sin embargo, la urgencia -y el derecho internacional, que rige la educación de todos los niños desplazados- no logran inspirar la acción.

Los niños desplazados hoy tienen más probabilidades de convertirse en los trabajadores más jóvenes en la fábrica, las novias más jóvenes en el altar y los soldados más jóvenes en la trinchera. Sin oportunidades, los niños son vulnerables a los extremistas y a la radicalización. Cada año, cerca de medio millón de niñas son víctimas de la trata y desaparecen.

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