» UNESCO highlights importance of work to prevent violence in education
20.10.2016 - Education Sector

UNESCO highlights importance of work to prevent violence in education

© UNESCO

UNESCO’s work to support education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression was highlighted at the launch of a new publication by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children (OSRSG).

The publication entitled Ending the Torment: Tackling bullying from the schoolyard to cyberspace was launched at the United Nations, New York, on 14 October 2016, during the General Assembly Third Committee debate on the rights of the child. It features the Call for Action by Ministers on education sector responses to homophobic and transphobic bullying, released at UNESCO’s 2016 International Minis

The OSRSG publication assesses trends and legal and policy developments around bullying and cyberbullying across the world, taking into account children’s perspectives and recommendations. It builds upon this week’s presentation of the Report of the Secretary-General on Protecting Children from Bullying responding to a General Assembly Resolution.

Speaking at the launch of the OSRSG publication, Christophe Cornu, Senior Programme Specialist at UNESCO, said not all children were equal in relation to bullying.

“Students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, are between two and seven times more likely to be bullied than other students,” Mr Cornu said.

“No country can achieve inclusive and equitable quality education while these students are being discriminated against or experience violence in learning environments.”

Call for Action by Ministers

Mr Cornu outlined the details of the Call for Action by Ministers at the OSRSG event. Now endorsed by 54 countries, the Call for Action represents one of the strongest indications of political support to end homophobic and transphobic violence in education.

“The Call for Action by Ministers is derived from the findings in the Out in the Open report; which provides an up-to-date review of the scope and impacts of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. It also presents the components of a comprehensive education sector response, and makes concrete recommendations,” Mr Cornu said.

“As stressed in the United Nations Secretary General’s Report, bullying has a negative impact on the rights of children, and recognizing its causes and effects is crucial in preventing and responding to it,” he added.

International symposium on school violence and bullying

Continuing efforts to deliver safe and non-violent learning environments for all - UNESCO, in partnership with the Institute of School Violence Prevention at Ewha Womans University and with the financial support of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea through the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant, is holding an International Symposium on School Violence and Bullying: From Evidence to Action.

The Symposium on 17-19 January, 2017 in in Seoul, Republic of Korea gives the international community an opportunity to respond to the Report of the Secretary General, Protecting Children from Bullying. It will also contribute towards measuring progress in addressing school-related violence and bullying, as called for in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 and other SDG goals.

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