World leaders told it is “time for action” as global education petition surges past 8 million signatures
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and A World at School Global Youth Ambassador Hellen Griberg
A World at School Global Youth Ambassador Hellen Griberg shared the demands of eight million people as she addressed world leaders at an Education Summit hosted by the Norwegian Government in Oslo.
Norwegian Hellen, 23, addressed the Summit and highlighted the growing number of children out of school around the world. She said “This is a civil rights movement led by young people demanding our right to an education. We need to see urgency and political leadership equal to the scale of this crisis. It’s time for action”.
After her passionate speech Hellen met with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg to pass on the messages from people around the world that have signed the #UpForSchool petition.
The #UpForSchool petition, launched earlier this year by A World at School, is calling on world leaders to take urgent action to get every child into school. It is aiming to be the largest petition of all time and calls on world leaders meeting in Oslo today to take urgent action to deliver education to children in conflict or emergency situations is made a priority.
A World at School Global Youth Ambassador Hellen Griberg speaks at the Oslo Summit
The petition, now standing at eight million, gained more than a million names in the past week after Angry Birds released a new #UpForSchool tournament to support the campaign and global star Justin Bieber became the latest celebrity to sign the #UpForSchool Petition and asked his fans to do the same. He joins an illustrious list of celebrity and famous signatories including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
In a speech to the Summit on 6 July, Ban Ki-Moon said: “I welcome the #UpForSchool movement – they have enlisted the Angry Birds. My grandson loves that game so I asked him what they are so angry about. He said they blow up pigs but when it comes to education they are angry at injustice”.
A World at School Global Youth Ambassador Hellen Griberg
Petition signatures have been collected all around the world by young people and organisations. Muslim Aid has collected more than 1.8 million signatures Gaza, Lebanon and other countries, education network Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) has collected 1.6 million signatures in Pakistan and World Vision and BRAC collected 2.7 million in Bangladesh.
Petition organiser Ben Hewitt said: “We know that nothing changes without pressure. This is a global movement led by young people around the world and supported by a diverse network of faith groups, businesses, charities and campaign organisations – all��coming together to demand world leaders to keep their promise and get every child into school. Every day a child is out of school they are at risk of child labour, early marriage and deeper poverty.”