Assessment of violence against children in schools

Assessment of violence against children in schools

UNICEF/2016/Andrey Kim


This report is the product of co-operation between UNICEF Kazakhstan and the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan, with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. It contains comprehensive information on the situation of violence against children in state-run schools in Kazakhstan and is available in Kazakh, Russian and English languages.

This study was conducted with the recognition that in most of the countries around the world, children spend a significant amount of time in schools. Parents and children expect schools to be safe and nurturing environments that support and promote children’s education and development. Unfortunately, many children around the world are exposed to violence and discrimination in schools, which negatively affects their school attendance, ability to learn, academic performance, and their psychosocial wellbeing. School violence also results in children prematurely dropping out before graduation. Ultimately, children exposed to school violence can be denied of their rights, including the right to education.

According to the “UN World Report on Violence Against Children”, adults who manage and staff schools have a responsibility to make sure that schools are guided by values of non-violence, non-discrimination, gender equality, tolerance, and mutual respect that governments accept when they ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), along with state obligations to protect children from all forms of violence, including violence in educational settings. Moreover, ensuring access to quality education for all children is integral to the UN Millennium Development Goals, and to accomplish this goal schools must provide a safe and welcoming environment free from discrimination and the threat of violence.

This report contains firsthand data which reveals that nature and extent of violence against children in staterun schools in Kazakhstan, including violence among children and by school personnel. The schools that participated in this study, including their students and school personnel, were ensured their anonymity and confidentiality. In no way does this study claim to be representative of all schools in Kazakhstan; nevertheless, it does provide a rough estimate of the scale of violence against children in schools across the country.

Findings from this study and the recommendations that follow can serve as a guide for developing a comprehensive national action plan to further assess, prevent and respond to violence against children in schools. Clearly, a wide range of actions must be taken, with the involvement of key stakeholders, including governmental bodies, non-governmental and international organizations, and other civil society institutes. We are particularly grateful to the children and school personnel that participated in the study and shared their time and experiences; the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan for the support provided in conducting this study; the research company “Public Opinion Research Centre” that collected data in the field, and the international consultant, Dr. Robin N. Haarr, who designed the research and prepared this report.



Dr. Robin N. Haar International UNICEF consultant

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