The following is a statement by Ian Wishart, CEO of Plan International Australia, on today’s attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan that has reportedly killed more than 140 people, most of them children.
“We are devastated by the horrific news of the attack on a school in north-west Pakistan which has reportedly resulted in loss of at least 140 lives, most of them children.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families of all those killed and injured, and we express our solidarity with them.
“It is tragic that a place of education and its innocent pupils have been targeted in a barbaric act of violence.
“School should be a safe sanctuary for children where they can play and learn and just be themselves.
“Acts of violence like this demonstrate how children and teachers in some of the most challenging places in the world are facing serious risks to their lives just to access their right to an education.
“As a child rights organisation, we believe every child must be able to go to school and get a quality education without any fear of abuse and violence.
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 75 years ago, working in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious or political affiliations.
Plan has worked in Pakistan since 1997, supporting around 1.6 million children in 4,945 communities across the country to access their rights to education, basic health care and nutrition, livelihoods, clean water, sanitation and protection.
Because I am a Girl is Plan's campaign to fight gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty, particularly by focusing on the right of all girls to a quality education. Find out more at becauseiamagirl.com.au
Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945