Youth manifesto calls on of government to #ENDviolence in schools

Youth manifesto calls on of government to #ENDviolence in schools

23 January 2019
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2018/Helin

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

LONDON/DILI/ 23 January 2019 – Young people from around the world call on government 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.”

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 crying ‘Help!’,” said Valerie Taton, UNICEF Representative in Timor-Leste. “They are demanding their leaders give them a safe place to go to school, to learn, and to build a brighter future for themselves.”  

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

“With this manifesto, young people have told us the dangers they face in school every day, including fighting, pressure to join gangs, bullying both in person and online, violent discipline, sexual harassment and armed violence,” added Valerie Taton. “Now is the time for world leaders to listen and take action to end violence in and around schools.”

As part of the initiative, children in Timor-Leste celebrated the World Children’s Day in November with the call for safe learning spaces and submitted 46 recommendations to the Minster of Education. These recommendations were developed in collaborative town hall-style consultation with 65 children and represented the authors’ desire to ensure safe learning spaces for children in Timor-Leste.

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). 

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: 

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: 
Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

For more information, please contact:
Antonio Gomes, Communication Officer, UNICEF Timor-Leste (Tetum queries)
Phone: +670-7723 2441 Email:
Arifa S. Sharmin, Chief, Communication Section, UNICEF Timor-Leste
Phone: +670-7723 1103 Email: (English queries)

Media contacts

Rukshan Ratnam
Communication Specialist (English)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +67077231103
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1820
Antonio Gomes
Communication Officer (Tetum)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +670 7723 2441
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1821


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

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook