Children have the right to safety wherever they are.
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End violence against children
Children should feel safe at home, in school and online. But it is in these places that most violence against children happens – often at the hands of the people they interact with every day.
For many children all over the world, the violence they face prevents them from fully benefiting from their education and realizing their potential.
This violence can take many different forms – bullying, corporal punishment, attacks on schools, sexual harassment, cyberbullying, and they all have a devastating effect on children, their families and communities.
Violence has no place in the lives of children. Join children around the world to #ENDViolence around them now and make it safe to live, learn and thrive.
For millions of students around the world, the school environment is not a safe space to study and grow.
- Half of students aged 13–15, about 150 million, report having experienced peer violence in and around school.
- More than 1/3 of students aged 13–15 have experienced bullying.
- Nearly 720 million school-age children live in countries where they are not fully protected by law from corporal punishment in schools.
- 158 million children aged 6–17 live in conflict-affected areas where classrooms are often no safer than communities.
- Globally, the cost of violence against children adds up to US$7 trillion a year.
Young people speak out
We asked young people about their experiences with violence in and around schools – and what they feel needs to be done to stop it. The response was overwhelming.
- More than a million young people responded from 160 countries.
- 2 in 3 said they’ve worried about violence in and around schools.
- Tens of thousands shared their experiences and provided ideas on what young people, parents, teachers and governments can do to help make schools safer.
The result was the #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto, which was presented to ministers at the Education World Forum in January 2019.
First day fears
The first day of school might be scary, but it should never be this terrifying. Yet, half the world’s teenagers experience peer violence in and around school.
Individuals and communities can do a lot, but in order to create widespread, lasting changes, governments need to adopt and strengthen policies to protect children in schools.
UNICEF is calling on all governments to enact:
- comprehensive school anti-bullying and sexual violence policies
- bans on the use of corporal punishment in schools