In 2019, 193 UNESCO Member States unanimously established November 2nd as International Day against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying ( International day against violence and bullying at school including cyberbullying | UNESCO) recognizing that school-related violence in all its forms is an infringement of children and adolescents’ rights to health and to education. School violence is widespread, can be physical, psychological and sexual and include gender-based violence, bullying and cyberbullying. This year, UNESCO called on education ministries to end violence and promote good mental health in schools to ensure learners learn and thrive in safe and supportive spaces.
Schools are meant to be safe and supportive environments for children Safe learning environments: Preventing and addressing violence in and around school | UNESCO. But numbers paint a different picture: one in three learners is bullied at school every month globally. Over 36% of learners experience a physical fight with their peers and almost one in three has been physically attacked at least once in a year.
School violence can have severe and long-lasting impacts on learners’ safety, physical and mental health, and their education outcomes. Evidence from UNESCO and partners How school systems can improve health and well-being: topic brief: mental health – UNESCO Digital Library shows that poor mental health and well-being contribute to underachievement, absenteeism, disruptive classroom behaviour, suspension and expulsion from school and school dropout.