Youth manifesto calls on Harapan Government to #ENDviolence in schools in Malaysia

23 January 2019
3 Youth discuss
© UNICEF/UN0261600/Hearfield2018

Recommendations presented as world leaders gather at the Education World Forum in the United Kingdom

LONDON/KUALA LUMPUR, 23 January 2019  Young people from around the world will call on Governments to end violence in and around schools at the Education World Forum this week.

Representing children and young people from Malaysia, Saiful Ikhwan, 19-year-old student from Kota Kinabalu participated in drafting the #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto which will be presented to government ministers at the high-level event in London, detailingwhat children and young people need to feel safe in and around school.

“I am committed to ending violence because we are all humans who need each other to make the world a better place,” said Saiful Ikhwan. “I hope that young people will not be afraid to speak up for themselves because the world needs to hear our voice. We are the ones responsible to make the world a better place in the future.”

The #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto was drafted last month by more than 100 children and young people from around the world, including Saiful Ikhwan in South Africa. It also drew on a recent UNICEF poll of young people, which received more than 1 million responses from over 160 countries, and suggestions from a series of student-led #ENDviolence Youth Talks held around the world.

The manifesto calls for action in the following areas:

· A demand for parents, guardians, schools, policymakers, and communities to take students seriously; to establish clear rules; to make laws restricting weapons; to ensure safety to and from school; to provide secure school facilities; to train teachers and counsellors; and to teach consent and respond to sexual violence.

· A commitment from students to be kind, to report violence, and to take action themselves.

· Diversity and tolerance in schools, regardless of culture, gender, identity, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, race, ethnicity, migration status, and religion; and protection for all students –those who experience violence and those who engage in violent behaviour.

“From every corner of the globe, children and young people have raised their voices against this violence. They want to be part of the solution and have given us concrete recommendations to end the bullying they face every day,” said Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia. “At the very least they expect their leaders to give them a safe place to go to school, to learn, and to build a brighter future for themselves.” 

The #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto is part of a collective effort to#ENDviolence in and around schools, called Safe to Learn, led by organizations including UNICEF, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), UNESCO, the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI).

“With this manifesto, young people have told us enough is enough. They are calling for more kindness, especially in schools to put an end to the verbal, relational, and physical bullying that happens – both online and in schools,” added Clark-Hattingh. “Now is the time for our leaders, to listen and take action to end violence in and around schools.”

Last year in Malaysia, UNICEF participated in several campaigns to curb bullying and spread kindness with Ministry of Education, corporate partners and civil society organisations. Through the kindness project and the #StandTogether campaign, over 6,000 children and 780 schools were mobilized across the country. Over 2,000 children spoke up and became advocates for kindness.

UNICEF is encouraging young people around the world to raise their voices to #ENDviolence in and around schools and to tell us how they are working together and what solutions they are using to #ENDviolence in and around schools once and for all. Find out more.

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Notes to Editors:

Photos from the African Youth Development Summit to draft the #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto in South Africa can be downloaded here.

Photos of Saiful Ikhwan at the African Youth Development Summit:

[1] [2] [3] [4]

Read Saiful Ikhwan’s experience drafting the Youth Manifesto in South Africa here.

Learn more about UNICEF’s #ENDviolence global campaign here.

About Safe to Learn 
#SafetoLearn is a new campaign dedicated to ending violence in schools so children are free to learn, thrive and pursue their dreams.  It was initially conceived by members of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children: UNESCO, UNICEF, UK Department for International Development (DFID) and UNGEI. Our vision is to work with governments, civil society organisations, communities, teachers and children themselves to end all violence in every school by 2024.

For more information about #SafetoLearn

Media Contacts

Rachel Choong

Communications Officer (Media)

UNICEF Malaysia

Tel: +60124162872

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