Safe learning environment for all

by MITCHELL under Creative Commons Licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic CC-BY-2.0

Every tenth pupil in the world is exposed to violence in school. It is estimated that, globally, 246 million children and adolescents experience some form of gender-based violence in and around school every year. Discrimination against children and young people in school, as well as towards teachers, based on gender norms, ethnicity, disability, HIV, social or economic status is also a significant problem in many contexts.

Violence and bullying in and around school, including abuse and sexual harassment, violate human rights, increase vulnerability to HIV, undermines learning and have adverse physical and mental health consequences. Therefore, UNESCO provides technical guidance and support to boost education sector capacity to address violence and discrimination in school.

Technical guidance

In 5 countries (Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Ukraine) UNESCO supported national education sectors to develop and implement National HIV Policy and Practice Recommendations to protect from discrimination over 150,000 children and adolescents living with or affected by HIV.

In the Russian Federation, Republic of Moldova and Kyrgyzstan UNESCO IITE supported the development of national guides for educators to address school-related gender-based violence and discrimination against children living with/affected by HIV. The national guides build on UNESCO’s global Guidance on SRGBV and UNESCO’s EECA regional guide on school violence prevention.

Teacher capacity building

UNESCO supports in- and pre-service teacher training initiatives to improve their knowledge and skills to address violence and bullying in school.

ICT-enhance solutions

The advancement of information technologies opens new opportunities for professional and creative development. It does though bring up some challenges and threats, cyberbullying among them. As toxic as off-line bullying, aggressive behavior in the Internet is highly harmful for physical and emotional health of adolescents. According to UNESCO data, about 12% of young people between 9 and 16 years old are victimized by cyberbullying attacks globally.

UNESCO IITE in cooperation with VK.COM explores opportunities to engage young people and get IT-industry support for the development and promotion of innovative ICT-based approaches and tools for cyberbullying prevention.