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Young people


Children Against Violence

Child's drawing
© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1461/Giacomo Pirozzi
A drawing by 9-year-old Abdulrahman at a camp for people displaced by conflict in Mindanao.

You   speak, we listen. The Children Against Violence campaign was created to give you a voice in experiences of abuse and violence in schools.  Forms of violence that you may experience  from peers or classmates include bullying or being tough (“pagiging astig/ siga”), hurting others (“pananakit”), and being ganged up on (“pinagkaisahan”).

Sometimes the abusive acts may be done by a teacher, like being beated up or mauled (“pagbugbog”), being humiliated in public (“ipinahiya sa publiko”), or being shouted at and cursed (“sinisigawan at minumura”). When you feel shame or humiliation, the act is considered as abusive. If you have experienced violence—whether physical or inner pain—you have a right to seek safety and change the situation.  

A survey of high school students by UNICEF and Plan Philippines (2010), found that they think:

  • violence is part of school life
  • when it happens, it is their fault
  • violence makes them unhappy
  • violence makes them dislike going to school
  • they prefer being talked to as a form of reprimand.

The Children Against Violence campaign helps you to be more aware of your rights to physical and mental health and a safe learning environment. We work with the Department of Education and the Child Rights Network to build young people’s self-confidence about your rights and develop good relationships with classmates, parents and teachers, and the community.
Understanding what leads to violence

There are many reasons why violence occurs in a school setting. It may happen because of a genuine disrespect for another person’s well-being (respect for rights). It may be due to personal and social factors like envy, romance, school work, and school competition like sports intramurals. It may be a teacher’s punishment for wrongdoing and the belief that it instills discipline.

What to do if you are a victim or witness of violence against children:

  • report the incident to a trusted teacher or school principal
  • tell your parents about it
  • use your student council to educate school personnel and students to fully understand rights of children and what constitutes violence
  • engage other students to be involved in the monitoring of reported cases
  • sign our Children Against Violence online petition to stop violence in schools. Tell a friend about it.

The World Report on Violence Against Children delivers its core message: “No violence against children is justifiable. All violence against children is preventable.”



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