#SafetoLearn is a new campaign dedicated to ending violence in schools so children are free to learn, thrive and pursue their dreams. Their vision is to work with governments, civil society organizations, communities, teachers and children themselves to end all violence in every school by 2024.
What is school violence and bullying?
School violence describes the physical, psychological and sexual violence that takes place in schools. Bullying is one of the most common forms of school violence, characterized by aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions repeated over time and an imbalance of power or strength between the perpetrators and the victims.
Most school violence occurs between students. Certain forms of violence however, such as physical and sexual violence, are sometimes perpetrated by teachers or other school staff against students. While school violence often occurs on school premises, it also takes place on the way to and from school. Increasingly, among students, it happens online and using mobile phones, often referred to as cyberbullying.
How big is the problem?
School violence is a global problem. Almost one in three students (32%) has been bullied by their peers at school at least once in the last month, almost one in three (32.4%) has been physically attacked at least once in the past year, and more than one in three students (36%) has been involved in a physical fight with another student. Physical bullying is the most frequent type of bullying in many regions, with the exception of North America and Europe, where psychological bullying is most common. Sexual bullying is the second most common in many areas. Cyberbullying, while occurring less than other forms of bullying, is increasing.
What have youth activists done to solve it?
This youth manifesto calls on world leaders to end violence in and around schools. It was written on December 1st, 2018 by more than 100 young people from around the world gathered at the Junior Chamber International (JCI) African Youth Development Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, at a session facilitated by UNICEF, Global Citizen, JCI and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children ahead of the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival. The Manifesto draws on the input of one million young people who responded to a global poll conducted by UNICEF.
What can you and your club do to help?
1. You can make sure there are policies in place at your school to make sure everyone feels safe.
2. You can post on bulletin boards around your school what resources the school offers if students feel unsafe.
3. Shift social and cultural norms to promote positive social norms and gender equality to ensure schools are safe spaces for learning.