LONDON/KATHMANDU, 22 January 2019 – Young people from around the world will call on governments, including the Government of Nepal, to end violence in and around schools at the Education World Forum this week.
Representing children and young people from around the globe, Khuthadzo Silima and Jonathan Franca, 18-year-old youth activists from South Africa and the USA, will present a manifesto to government ministers at the high-level event in London, detailing what children and young people need to feel safe in and around school.
“The manifesto represents the voices of millions of children and young people who face violence at school every day,” said Silima ahead of the event. “The message we want to get across is clear, adults must listen to us and take the issue of school violence seriously.”
Nepal is no exception to the global reality of violence against children. More than 80 per cent of children in Nepal, aged between one and 14, experience some form of violent discipline by their parents, teachers or caregivers. Through the landmark 2018 Act Relating to Children, Nepal has become the first country in South Asia to achieve a complete ban on violent discipline. Nepal also boasts promising initiatives on both operational and legal fronts to address violence against children, including in schools.
However, much still needs to be done to ensure that schools in Nepal are safe places for learning.
“Ending violence in schools requires political will – which the Government of Nepal has demonstrated. It also needs to be backed by individual and collective actions,” said Mr Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Representative to Nepal. “Now is the time for leaders at the Federal, State and local levels - as well as parents, teachers and caregivers - to promote and use positive teaching techniques and positive parenting instead of resorting to violence”.
The #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto was drafted last month by more than 100 children and young people from around the world, including Silima and Franca. 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.
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).
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 at https://uni.cf/end-violence.
Notes to Editors:
Multimedia assets can be downloaded 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, visit: www.end-violence.org/safetolearn
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org