Join UNICEF’s Campaign to #EndViolence in Schools

By Cynthia Sularz

September 6, 2018

Every five minutes, a child dies as a result of gun violence.

Schools, which are meant to offer a safe learning environment for children, often fail to do so.

It is in school, that many children become targets of physical, sexual and psychological violence. In fact, globally, nearly 130 million students between the ages of 13 and 15 experience bullying. In addition to bullying, violence can occur in many other forms: sexual harassment, punishment from teachers, and attacks on schools.

This violence has a devastating effect on children, their families, and communities. It scares children. This fear keeps them from attending school and can result in poor grades. Violence in school affects not only the physical health of students but their mental health as well.

732 million school-age children, half the global population aged 6 to 17, live in countries where they are not legally protected from corporal punishment at school.

Violence in schools feels frequent and thus inevitable. It’s our role to do something about it.

Today, UNICEF is launching a new phase to their #EndViolence campaign, focused on ending violence against children. The latest phase of the #EndViolence campaign focuses on the unique factors which allow violence against children to take place in schools.

One of the ways UNICEF is encouraging all those wishing to #EndViolence against children is to host Youth Talks. We need to listen to youth. It’s essential we hear what they need from caregivers, teachers, school personnel, local or national policymakers, etc. – to feel safe in and around schools. This will help us craft and advocate for policy changes which truly make a difference.

The lessons learned and collected from these youth talks will culminate in an #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto. This Manifesto will serve as a reminder to member states of their commitment to protecting children in and around schools (please see UN Resolution 72/245, adopted on 24 December 2017 on the Rights of the Child here.)

To learn more on how to host a Youth Talk through this guide designed by UNICEF. Eradicating violence in schools, will not be easy, and requires everyone to take a stand.

Join us today and demand change.

Together, we will call for urgent action in five areas:

  • Implementing laws and policies to protect students from violence;
  • Strengthening safety measures in schools;
  • Encouraging students and communities to challenge the culture of violence;
  • Mobilizing and investing resources effectively;
  • and Generating and sharing evidence about what works.

Students around the world are stepping up to demand the safety and education they deserve. It’s time to follow their lead.

Together, we can #ENDViolence in schools.

Take action Challenge:

  • Join our September 6 activation, including by encouraging the students you know to take our poll and weigh in on what they need to be safe in and around the school. Check out the toolkit here!
  • Hold an #ENDviolence Youth Talk in your community between now and November. The reflections offered in the Youth Talks and the online conversation starting on 6 September will help shape a global #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto, to be presented at the Education World Forum, 20-23 January.
  • Let UNICEF know how else we can collaborate! Tweet @UNICEF your ideas.

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