Half of world’s teens experience peer violence in and around school – UNICEF

In Jamaica, 6 in 10 children experience bullying at school

06 September 2018
Photograph of a teacher leading a class discussion in a classroom at Drew Avenue Primary School in Kingston. UNICEF provided the school with textbooks and other supplies
UNICEF/2005/Shehzad Noorani
A teacher leads a class discussion in a classroom at Drew Avenue Primary School in Kingston. UNICEF provided the school with textbooks and other supplies

KINGSTON, 6 September 2018 Half of students aged 13 to 15 worldwide – around 150 million young people – report having experienced peer-to-peer violence in and around school, according to a new report released by UNICEF today.

Violence in Schools: An Everyday Lesson 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 global report reveals that slightly more than one in every three of students aged 13-15 experience bullying, and roughly the same proportion are involved in physical fights.

In Jamaica, bullying is a prevalent problem. The latest data from a study conducted in 2015 shows that:

  • 6 in 10 Jamaican students say they have been bullied at some point in their lives.
  • Almost 30% of students surveyed fear going to school because of bullying.
  • 9 in 10 students have seen a child being bullied at school.

“Schools should be a safe place for all Jamaican children,” said Mariko Kagoshima, UNICEF Jamaica’s Representative. “Too many students witness and experience violence in an environment where they should be focused on learning and enjoying their education.”

Violence in Schools: An Everyday Lesson is released as part of UNICEF’s global #ENDviolence campaign, which is taking a new focus on violence in and around schools.

The campaign calls for countries to take urgent action in the following areas:

  • Implementing policies and legislation needed to protect students from violence in schools, including the promotion of positive discipline in the classroom.
  • Strengthening prevention and response measures in schools.
  • Urging communities and individuals to join students as they speak up about violence and work to change the culture of classrooms and communities.
  • More effective and targeted investments in proven solutions that help students and schools stay safe.
  • Collecting better, disaggregated data on violence against children in and around schools and sharing what works.

As part of the campaign, UNICEF Jamaica will engage young people to share their views on violence at schools at a Youth Talk in November, which is commemorated as Youth Month.


For more information, please contact:

Allison Brown-Knight, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Jamaica

Email: albrown@unicef.org; Mobile: 876-279-8339


Media contacts

Allison Brown-Knight
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Jamaica
Tel: 876-618-6268 (office)
Tel: 876-279-8339 (mobile)


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