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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Pulumbarit

UNESCO leads int'l day vs. school violence, bullying

Member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) have declared every first Thursday of November as the "International Day against Violence and Bullying at School including Cyberbullying."

On Facebook, UNESCO announced that it is teaming with Ministère de l’Education nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports (French Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports) to determine how schools and governments can promote a safe culture in schools.

UNESCO and the French ministry on education will be holding an international online conference on school bullying on November 5.

The conference will be streamed live on Facebook and the UNESCO YouTube channel.

"It's on all of us to #StopBullying in schools and beyond," UNESCO said.

"Bullying in schools deprives millions of children and young people of the fundamental right to education," UNESCO said.

School violence and bullying, including cyberbullying violates the rights of children and adolescents to education, health, and well-being, it said.

A UNESCO report claimed that more than 30% of students worldwide have been victims of bullying, affecting their physical and mental health; influencing their academic performance, and in some cases, leading to school drop outs.

"The confinement imposed as part of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in an unprecedented increase in screen time by children and adolescents, and likely exacerbated the issue," UNESCO said.

UNESCO noted that school violence and bullying are mostly perpetrated by the students' peers but in certain cases, by teachers or school staff, especially as corporal punishment is still allowed in schools in 67 countries.

"Children who are frequently bullied are nearly three times more likely to feel like an outsider at school and more than twice as likely to miss school as those who are not frequently bullied," it said.

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