Youth manifesto calls on all governments to #ENDviolence in schools

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

21 January 2019
The image shows children looking in the camera
UNICEF/PAKISTAN/Asad Zaidi
Young girl in UNICEF supported Accelerated Education program (AEP) center, Mud Darbari, Rahim Yar Khan district, Punjab province, Pakistan.

LONDON/ISLAMABAD - 21 January 2019: Young people from around the world will call on all governments to end violence in and around schools at the Education World Forum, which Pakistan’s Minister for Education and Professional Training, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, will attend 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.”

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.

“From every corner of the globe, children and young people are asking for help,” said Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. “They are demanding that their leaders give them a safe place 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 brought to our attention the challenges they face in school every day, including bullying both in person and online, physical violence including corporal punishment, violent discipline and conflict,” added Ms. Girma. “Now is the time for world leaders to listen and take action to end violence in and around schools.”

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.

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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 

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UNICEF Pakistan

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