Protecting children's rights by preventing bullying

Everyone has the right to feel safe, to be treated fairly and with respect. Bullying, as a form of violence that is especially prevalent among children and adolescents, can rob them of these rights. 

ENABLE (European Network Against Bullying in Learning and Leisure Environments) aims to tackle bullying in a holistic way, helping young people exercise their fundamental rights in the home, school, class and community. 
 
In October, ENABLE published Bullying in Schools: a summary of research and anti-bullying initiatives. The report, prepared by For Adolescent Health, Greece, with contributions from all ENABLE partners, brings together research findings related to the phenomenon of bullying: what it is, its prevalence, impact and prevention. It showcases anti-bullying programmes from European and non-European countries and it examines their effectiveness. Finally, it introduces the approach adopted in ENABLE activities; the programme is guided by the Social and Emotional aspects of Learning (SEL) movement and features innovative ‘real-time' implementation and assessment practices. It is a systemic approach that addresses all layers of the bullying ecology and the underlying mechanisms of bullying.
 
ENABLE targets social and emotional skills, focusing on students, parents and teachers to improve relations between and across the groups that constitute the school eco-system. It also embraces the Peer Support Scheme which features educating and empowering young people to become Peer Supporters who can actively work to prevent bullying in their learning and leisure environments.
 
Cyberbullying, being a pertinent topic in today's digital age, is also examined in the report. The publication sheds light on the fact that although cyberbullying constitutes a form of bullying, it differs from traditional bullying in several ways and, at times, it can be more harmful to young people.  The reason for this is that one act of cyberbullying has the potential to cause repeated victimisation because other users can spread the original hurtful posting(s) on social networking sites. In the case of cyberbullying, an imbalance of power can exist due to a difference in the ability to use technology between potential assaulters and the assaulted person. Moreover, assaulters can take advantage of the high level of anonymity that the internet offers and feel further encouraged to engage in cyberbullying behaviour because they perceive it as low risk.
 
Devoted to the goal of protecting children's rights by promoting a bullying-free environment for them both online and offline, ENABLE launched a Thunderclap campaign that ended on 10 December 2015, Human Rights Day. The campaign was successful in engaging people who joined to show their support for children's rights and to say ‘No' to bullying. Its message reached over 217,000 online viewers.

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  • News
  • 28/10/2016
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