Half of World’s Teens Experience Peer Violence in, Around School- UNICEF

Half of World’s Teens Experience Peer Violence in, Around School- UNICEF

Friday, 7 September, 2018 - 09:00
In Villanueva, Honduras, Darwin, 16, sits in the classroom he shared with his friend Henry. Henry committed suicide in September 2016. According to a teacher, the close friends were targeted by bullies. "I was hit very hard," says Darwin, "I still can't get over it." | UNICEF/UN0232616/Zehbrauskas
New York- Asharq Al-Awsat
Half of students aged 13 to 15 worldwide – around 150 million – report having experienced peer-to-peer violence in and around school, according to a new report released by UNICEF on Thursday.

An Everyday Lesson: #ENDviolence in Schools says that peer violence – measured as the number of children who report having been bullied in the last month or having been involved in a physical fight in the last year – is a pervasive part of young people’s education around the world. It impacts student learning and well-being in rich and poor countries alike.

The report outlines a variety of ways students face violence in and around the classroom.

Globally, slightly more than 1 in 3 students aged 13-15 experience bullying, and roughly the same proportion are involved in physical fights, according to the latest available data from UNICEF.

In 2017, there were 396 documented or verified attacks on schools in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 on schools in South Sudan, 67 attacks in the Syrian Arab Republic and 20 attacks in Yemen.

Also, around 720 million school-aged children live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited.

The report notes that although girls and boys are equally at risk of bullying, girls are more likely to become victims of psychological forms of bullying and boys are more at risk of physical violence and threats.

The report also shed light on violence involving weapons in schools, such as knives and guns, claiming lives continuously. It also says that in an increasingly digital world, bullies are disseminating violent, hurtful and humiliating content with the tap of a key.

UNICEF and partners are calling for urgent action to end violence in schools, including implementing policies and legislation to protect students from violence in schools, urging communities and individuals to join students as they speak up about violence, and working to change the culture of classrooms and communities.

“Education is the key to building peaceful societies, and yet, for millions of children around the world, school itself is not safe,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

“Every day, students face multiple dangers, including fighting, pressure to join gangs, bullying – both in person and online, violent discipline, sexual harassment and armed violence. In the short-term this impacts their learning, and in the long-term it can lead to depression, anxiety and even suicide. Violence is an unforgettable lesson that no child needs to learn.”

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