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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

UNESCO takes action on school violence and bullying

Photo: Sura Nualpradid/Shutterstock.com

In a 2016 opinion poll on the experience of bullying to which 100,000 young people in 18 countries responded, 25 per cent reported that they had been bullied because of their physical appearance, 25 per cent because of their gender or sexual orientation and 25 per cent because of their ethnicity or national origin.

These figures, taken from UNICEF U-Report/Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children. Ending the torment: Tackling bullying from the schoolyard to cyberspace, show that some children and young people are more vulnerable than others.

In keeping with UNESCO’s commitment to the full achievement of Education 2030 through ensuring inclusive, quality education and lifelong learning for all, UNESCO and the Institute of School Violence Prevention at Ewha Womans University, are holding an International Symposium on School Violence and Bullying: From Evidence to Action, in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 17 – 19 January, 2017.

The International Symposium is expected to bring together 250 people from 75 countries, including teachers, learners, ministers and vice ministers of education, senior government policy officials, UN and bilateral agency representatives and other development partners, civil society, the private sector, and school communities. The unique mix of partners share the common vision of safe and non-violent learning environments for all children and young people.

While many students are able to learn in safe and stimulating environments, others are exposed to violence and bullying, infringing on their fundamental right to education,” said Soo Hyang Choi, UNESCO Director, Division for Inclusion, Peace and Sustainable Development. “The Symposium enables the international community to come up with bold new actions to respond to school violence and bullying; and presents the m with an opportunity to implement recommendations from the UN Secretary General’s report on Protecting children from bullying, presented to the UN General Assembly in October 2016.”

The International Symposium builds and expands on UNESCO leadership in school-related gender-based violence, including violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. It follows the release of two key 2016 reports, Out in the Open: Education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, and Global Guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence.

A Global Status Report will be released at the Symposium, providing the most up to date data on the scope, nature and impact of school violence and bullying, and providing education sectors with a framework for planning and implementing effective programmes to respond.

The International Symposium has been made possible with financial support from UNESCO and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea through the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant.

Source: UNESCO Education Sector

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