Paris, 4 June 2023 (TDI): Bullying has emerged as a significant problem affecting children and adolescents worldwide, posing severe consequences for their well-being and education. Recognizing the detrimental impact of bullying on students’ lives, UNESCO has launched a campaign to address this issue and create safe and inclusive learning environments for all.
UNESCO hopes to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 4 and SDG 16, through this movement.
A recent UNESCO research, assembled from extensive global surveys, offers a thorough analysis of the frequency, trends, and effective countermeasures to bullying and violence in schools.
According to the research, approximately one in every three students is bullied by their peers, and one in every ten children is victimized by cyberbullying. Physical violence and attacks are also prevalent, with more than one-third of students claiming involvement in physical fights or being physically attacked.
The report emphasizes the harmful effects of bullying on victims, such as difficulty concentrating, increased absenteeism, and lower academic achievement.
Furthermore, bullying can substantially influence a child’s mental health, leading to feelings of isolation, altered sleep patterns, and higher rates of suicide ideation. It underlined the link between bullying and risky behaviors like substance misuse and early sexual experiences.
UNESCO underlines the essence of effective national responses based on evidence and collaboration to address this pressing issue. It underscores the significance of political leadership, comprehensive legal frameworks, and policies that defend children’s rights.
The study finds that adopting sustainable approaches has relied heavily on collaboration among various stakeholders, including educational institutions, civil society organizations, and the media. Successful initiatives also require evidence-based methodologies, exact data collection procedures, and rigorous intervention evaluation.
UNESCO calls for increased efforts to train and support teachers in preventing and responding to school violence and bullying. According to the International Organization, whole-school approaches that engage the entire community, empower children, and establish a healthy school climate are critical.
Children’s meaningful participation and support networks should be encouraged to create safe reporting, complaint, and counseling mechanisms.
The Stop Bullying Campaign builds on UNESCO’s promise of ensuring safe and inclusive educational environments. This campaign strives to contribute to the global drive to abolish all forms of violence in schools by 2024 as part of the Safe to Learn Campaign by raising awareness and inspiring the movement.