3rd ASEAN Regional Conference on School Safety | 3-4 April 2019 | Bangkok, Thailand

Southeast Asia is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. More than 50 percent of the global disaster mortalities took place in ASEAN from 2004 to 2014 with about 354,000 fatalities. During the same period, about 191 million people were temporarily displaced, and another 193 million people were affected or experienced different types of losses due to disasters.

The education sector is highly affected by disasters and other risks owing to a large amount of time the children and teachers spend in schools. There have been many instances when children or teaching staff lost their lives or got injured in schools during disasters. Recent disasters in the ASEAN region damaged school facilities, especially those with poor building design, non-engineered construction, or site selection, which prevented students from accessing schools. Children’s education is also disrupted when schools are used as temporary shelters or evacuation areas for those affected by disasters. Major setbacks on development investments in the education sector are also experienced during disasters especially when risk reduction policies are not adequately prioritised.

Recognising the impacts of disasters on children and education sector, ASEAN has established the ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI) which promotes a comprehensive integration of risk reduction in the Education Sector. This initiative is a priority of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016-2020 (Priority Programme #2: Building Safe ASEAN Infrastructures and Essential Service) and the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020 (Priority Area 5.2: Promoting inclusion of disaster risk reduction in national curriculum through support to relevant sectors’ initiatives).

To support the ASSI goals and Programme Strategy, ASSI, with the leadership of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and Seniors Official Meeting on Education (SOM-ED), conducts a biennial regional conference as a venue for advocacy, discussion, and learning exchange among stakeholders on DRR in Education and School Safety in ASEAN. The first ASEAN Regional Conference on School Safety, held in December 2015 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia saw the formal launch of the ASEAN Common Framework 1 ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management (2016). The second ASEAN Regional Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand in February 2017, gathered the re-affirmation of ASEAN countries and other partners and stakeholders’ to continue their school safety efforts in alignment with the country commitments to contribute in accomplishing the newly adopted AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020 and the ASEAN Regional Work Plan on Education 2016-2020 as well as the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 targets and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

This year, as we are heading towards the end of the ASEAN Programme Strategy 2017-2020, the 3 rd ASEAN Regional Conference on School Safety will be focusing on the assessment of the region’s progress in school safety work and in shaping the discussions toward outlining the ASEAN regional perspectives, approaches, and strategies on school safety post- AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020 and ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020.

Participation and visibility of RCRC

Twenty participants from 11 Southeast Asia National Societies as well as IFRC Secretariat  and Global Disaster Preparedness Centre have attended which made the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement very visible during the Conference.

  • RCRC school safety works were recognized and appreciated by ASEAN and School Safety actors in Southeast Asia
  • More partnership opportunities were explored through dialogues among SEA NSs participants and their respective government officials from Ministries of Education and/or National Disaster Management Offices and other INGOs.

RCRC engagement

  • Plenary Session

Mr. Jaryll Ong Pang Sng, Malaysian Red Crescent represented “youth group” (requested by the organisers) and presented “Scaling-up School Safety through Youth Leadership” mentioning not only MRC’s school safety work but also existing and potential RCRC added-value on school safety work, with reference to global and regional agenda such as SDGs, ASEAN’s Culture of Prevention, AADMER’s Work Programme 2016-2020.

RCRC youth voice was raised and appreciated as it was only RCRC who brought youth leaders to the Conference while youth leadership/engagement was mentioned by some sessions including plenary session by UNISDR.

  • Thematic session led by IFRC

IFRC has organised a session together with Thai RC, Dow Group Thailand, Prudence Foundation, Philippine RC and Department of Education Philippines under the theme of Multi-stakeholders’ engagement in School Safety.

Building on the existing good practices (3 different joint works were introduced), moderated by IFRC CCST Bangkok, it was discussed how we can further collaborate to scale-up the reach and impact to make sure no children and youth are left behind.  It was emphasised that no single organisation can make a difference alone, and thus this triangular cooperation (governments, civil societies, corporate sector) is a key.

The key message on the importance of scaling-up school safety work through enhanced partnership was strongly emphasized and framed up the discussion on widening collaboration opportunities through concrete examples (Safe Steps campaign, MoU and implementation plan in Philippines) and SEA NSs engagement.

  • Partners’ statement

Head of IFRC CCST Bangkok delivered IFRC’s statement on behalf of 11 SEA NSs at the closing session (download full statement here).

Our 4 commitments made are;

  1. To strengthen and broaden the engagement of children and youth by mobilizing 3.6 million youth members.
  2. To scale up our contribution for nation-wide impact by engaging with public authorities through result-based and structured partnerships building on existing best practices in the region.
  3. To institutionalise partnerships around ASSI as an inclusive and long-term platform whereby we bring our results together and demonstrate our collective impact.
  4. To facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration, with a specific call on the corporate sector, including innovative actors and start-ups, to more significantly engage in school safety as a cost-effective and societal contribution.

Conference documents


More photos from the event are available for download here!


ASSI – ASEAN Road to AMCDRR 2018 | 30-31 May 2018 | Jakarta, Indonesia

Supported by the ASEAN Safe School Initiative (ASSI), the workshop is aimed at providing a platform for ASEAN Member States (AMSs) to discuss about the region’s participation at the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR), in the past and forthcoming to determine regional key messages, discuss possible platforms to raise the messages or call for actions, strategies, preparations for white papers, statements, and policy briefs. Furthermore, the workshop also provided a platform for  discussions on an enabling environment where ASEAN CSOs continue engaging and contributing to the implementation of AWP 2.0.

The workshop specifically aimed to gather AMS’ focal points on school safety and ASEAN civil society organisations and other actors that have worked in school safety and relevant sectors (children & youth, climate change adaptation, other vulnerable groups, resilience, etc) in alignment with AWP 2.0. The outcome of this workshop is expected to be advocated during AMCDRR through 10 ASEAN governments’ delegates and other non‐state actors.

More details about the event are provided in the following documents:



ASSI Regional Training and Learning Exchange Workshop on School Disaster Management | 24-26 January 2018 | Bangkok, Thailand

Representatives from IFRC Bangkok and the Thai Red Cross Society participated in the ASEAN Safe School Initiative (ASSI) regional training and learning exchange workshop on School Disaster Management (SDM) which was held in Bangkok during 24-26 January 2018. Also participated were representatives from ASEAN member states, NGOs and the ASEAN Secretariat.

The participants also visited the Sang-Um school (school safety project implemented by Plan International) to learn about good practices and strategies for school disaster management.

Training objectives:

  • To enhance SDM capacity of government officials and other school safety practitioners in the region;
  • To provide a platform for knowledge exchange; and
  • To sustain discussion on school safety to further the goals of  ASSI.

Participants’ takeaways:

  • Each country has developed an action plan on how to promote SDM in their country.
  • Each country will have a platform to promote school safety at a national level.