School-related violence

Promising policy options

Provide a strong political commitment to prevent and stop school-related violence by developing consistent policies to address school-related violence. Integrate prevention and responses to school-related violence into Education Sector Plans and national policies, implement effective systems at a national, local and school-level, to report and monitor school-related violence, and develop a strong legal framework to address this in schools.

Train and support teachers and school leaders to implement policies aimed at preventing and responding to school-related violence within their classrooms and schools. This can be done by increasing their understanding of the topic, learning about conflict management techniques, as well as by providing them with pertinent skills to prevent, identify and respond to incidents of violence (Gudyanga, Matamba and Gudyanga, 2014). For instance, teachers should be equipped with knowledge and strategies to prevent sexual abuse from happening, and they should transfer this knowledge to students (Mwoma and Pillay, 2015).

Implement and enforce legislation prohibiting school-related violence. For instance, Sweden’s 2010 Education Act obliges schools to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children, and the Netherlands developed an Anti-Bullying Law (UNESCO, 2019).). Harmonize legislation across sectors, particularly concerning children’s rights, corporal punishment, sexual violence, and bullying. Enforce punishments and sanctions for violations to this legislation. Every school should follow existing legislation and have a clear policy on how to deal effectively with school violence (Gudyanga, Matamba and Gudyanga, 2014). Support from parents or guardians and the community should be sought to implement collaborative initiatives meant to reduce or eliminate violent incidents in schools (Gudyanga, Matamba and Gudyanga, 2014). Overall, schools should instill a culture of tolerance and respect and a school climate free from violence and thus conducive to learning (Gudyanga, Matamba and Gudyanga, 2014). (For more information consult Policy page School climate).  

Strengthen connections between education and child protection systems, such as revising code of conduct, improving school counselling systems, and improving reporting mechanisms. Coordinate among school, community, regional and national levels, as well as with other relevant sectors. One example of this is Lebanon’s Ministry of Education, which has developed policies to address school-related violence in close collaboration with other ministries, such as the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Affairs (UNESCO, 2019).

Consult with civil society groups to ensure the inclusion of diverse needs of children, especially from marginalized groups, and ensure transparency and accountability for the government’s school-related violence commitments.

References
Gudyanga, E.; Matamba, N.; Gudyanga, A. 2014. ‘Visual participatory approach to violent behaviour amongst Zimbabwean students: Forms and prevalence’. In: Asian Social Science, vol. 10, pp. Retrieved from: https://essa-africa.org/node/501?i=d&id=928

Mwoman, T.; Pillay, J. 2015. ‘Psychosocial support for orphans and vulnerable children in public primary schools: Challenges and intervention strategies.’ In: South African Journal of Education, 35 (3), 1-9. Retrieved from: https://essa-africa.org/node/501?i=d&id=604

UNESCO. 2019. Behind the numbers: Ending school violence and bullying. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000366483

‘Improve the availability of accurate, reliable and disaggregated data and implement evidence-based initiatives that are informed by sound research’ (UNESCO, 2019: 56). Some pertinent examples are the Netherlands and Italy, which have invested significantly in assessing the effectiveness of anti-bullying interventions and programmes. This has allowed them to recognize the most effective ones in reducing school violence, with school-based programmes such as KiVA and No Trap! in Italy (UNESCO, 2019).

Build partnerships with non-government actors such as civil society organizations, academic institutions, professional associations, UN and donor agencies, and the media, to ensure continuous research, evidence, monitoring, and evaluation of anti-violence and anti-bullying interventions. For instance, in the Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden academic institutions have contributed significantly to providing data and evaluating interventions (UNESCO, 2019).

Define the data collection and monitoring procedures. It is essential to collect data consistently in order to monitor the effectiveness of the bullying prevention plan to understand what is working and what must be improved, as is done in the Netherlands, where a tool has been developed to monitor bullying in schools (UNESCO, 2019).).

Organize and disseminate surveys (or any other type of data collection method) once a year –or more when possible– to determine the prevalence of the problem in the school. Particularly, indicator number 33 of SDG4 aims to measure the percentage of students experiencing ‘bullying, corporate punishment, harassment, violence, sexual discrimination and abuse’. National, district and school efforts and tools used to monitor the issue should thus be implemented in a coordinated manner (UNESCO, 2017). For example, since 2012 the Republic of Korea conducts a national survey twice a year on students’ perceptions and experiences of school-related violence and bullying (UNESCO, 2019).).  

References
UNESCO. 2017. Let’s decide how to measure school violence. Global Education Monitoring Report: Policy paper 29. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000246984

UNESCO. 2019. Behind the numbers: Ending school violence and bullying. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000366483

General constructive disciplinary interventions

Research has found that proactive disciplinary actions meant to improve students’ socio-emotional and behavioural skills are much more effective than solely establishing rules and norms which prohibit school violence, as well as exclusively relying on punitive disciplinary actions, such as zero-tolerance policies (e.g. installing surveillance cameras) (Chaux, n.d.; IIEP-UNESCO Learning Portal, 2018d; Lopez, 2014; UNESCO, 2019). Instead of fostering a safe, welcoming and positive school climate, punitive disciplinary actions can create hostile environments, which could ultimately affect student’s learning process and even lead to students’ dropout from school (Greytak et al, 2016). It is therefore recommendable to seek constructive actions meant to develop students’ self-regulation and socio-emotional skills such as:

  • student isolation or ‘time out’ actions;
  • a curriculum that teaches students to solve conflicts in a peaceful manner;
  • activities where students learn to act as mediators when conflicts arise between peers (peer mediation); and
  • restitution activities so that students can repair harmed relationships.

Overall, teachers must ‘support students in learning constructive conflict resolution strategies’ as well as to how to control ‘angry’ feelings (Gudyanga, Matamba and Gudyanga, 2014: 35). Research shows that this type of constructive policies not only improve academic performance but also lower students’ dropout rates (Hough, 2015; IIEP-UNESCO Learning Portal, 2018d).

In addition, school violence can also be prevented through a multi-level strategy (Lopez, 2014) by fostering whole-school systematic strategies to improve school climate overall and prevent school violence. For example, Jamaica introduced the School-Wide Positive Behavioural Intervention and Support Framework to guide schools in introducing positive behaviours (UNESCO, 2019). Other examples are Uruguay’s initiative Living Together in Schools aims to improve schools’ climate (UNESCO, 2019), Vanuatu’s National Curriculum promotes happiness in schools since 2012 (UNESCO Bangkok, 2016) and the initiative ‘Classrooms in Peace’ –Aulas en Paz– in Bogota, Colombia, aligned the efforts done at a national level concerning the integration of citizenship skills in the curriculum with whole-school strategies (López, 2014).

In certain cases, providing specific strategies for certain groups of students will be necessary in addition to school-wide strategies. This could be done through educational reinforcement workshops in social skills or tutoring opportunities, among others.

Finally, it may also be necessary to ensure individual interventions for severe behaviour issues when needed. For instance, provide counselling and regular follow-up of specific students –if the budget does not allow the school to have a psychologist, it is possible to train a teacher to perform the job.

References
Chaux, E. n.d. Conflictos, bullying y violencia escolar: Estrategias de prevención y manejo. Bogotá: Universidad de los Andes. Accessed 11 October 2018: http://www2.congreso.gob.pe/sicr/cendocbib/con4_uibd.nsf/B7BD4EFC43375FB70525807C00824B00/$FILE/CM-2.pdf

Greytak, E.A.; Kosciw, J.G.; Villenas, C.; Giga, N.M. 2016. From Teasing to Torment: School Climate Revisited, A Survey of U.S. Secondary School Students and Teachers. New York: GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). Retrieved from: https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/TeasingtoTorment2015_ExecSumm%20FINAL.pdf

Gudyanga, E.; Matamba, N.; Gudyanga, A. 2014. ‘Visual participatory approach to violent behaviour amongst Zimbabwean students: Forms and prevalence’. In: Asian Social Science, vol. 10, pp. Retrieved from: https://essa-africa.org/node/501?i=d&id=928

Hough, L. 2015. ‘Does It Have To Be So Complicated?’ In: Harvard ED Magazine. Summer 2015. Accessed 10 October 2018: http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/ed/15/05/does-it-have-be-so-complicated.

IIEP-UNESCO Learning Portal. 2018d. Brief 3: The psycho-social school environment. Accessed 27 September 2018: https://learningportal.iiep.unesco.org/en/issue-briefs/improve-learning/schools-and-classrooms/the-psycho-social-school-environment

López, V. 2014. Education and Development Post-2015: School Climate. Notes Nº4. Santiago de Chile: OREALC-UNESCO (Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean). Retrieved from: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/FIELD/Santiago/pdf/APUNTE04-ING.pdf

UNESCO Bangkok. 2016. Happy Schools! A Framework for Learner Well-being in the Asia-Pacific. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002441/244140e.pdf

UNESCO. 2019. Behind the numbers: Ending school violence and bullying. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000366483

Specific anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies

It is very important to plan for bullying and harassment prevention in order to ensure children’s safety within the school. This could be independent or part of the general school climate improvement plan (see Policy page School climate).

It is essential that all groups within the school community participate in its elaboration, as it is meant to build a shared understanding and commitment on the importance of bullying prevention. The plan should include a number of elements.

Each school can define bullying differently. An example of a general definition is ‘a form of permanent or constant harassing, exercised by one person or more from a position of power (physical, social status) over others, and causes intentional damage’ (Olweus, 2004, 2010 cited by Lopez, 2014:2). It is also possible to give an ‘enumerated’ definition, in which bullying is based upon personal characteristics such as race/ethnicity, disability, gender and sexual orientation (Greytak et al., 2016:41).

Research has found that enumerated definitions and policies are much more effective than general policies in protecting all the students from bullying and harassment. An example of an enumerated definition is: ‘Bullying means written, verbal or physical conduct that adversely affects the ability of one or more students to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programmes or activities by placing the student (or students) in reasonable fear of physical harm. This includes, but is not limited to, conduct that is based on a student’s actual or perceived race, colour, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other distinguishing characteristics that may be defined by the state or state educational agency. This also includes association with a person or group with one or more of the abovementioned characteristics, whether actual or perceived’ (GLESEN, n.d. Enumeration:1).

Specify clear roles and responsibilities for all school members in order to promote their meaningful participation in the efforts to prevent and respond to school-related violence and bullying (UNESCO, 2019). School head’s strong leadership in bullying prevention is essential.

Create partnerships with relevant stakeholders –such as parents, community members, students and teachers– to engage them in the process of bullying prevention (Pepler and Craig, 2014; UNESCO, 2019). Some strategies that have shown positive results in preventing and reducing bullying include identifying community members, parents, students, school staff members and teachers who are willing to become ‘Champions’. ‘Champions’ are people who ‘deeply embrace and embody healthy relationships and the school’s bullying prevention aspirations’, who work together to increase awareness and knowledge on bullying in order to change attitudes and opinions’ (Ontario, n.d.:19).

Empower all students to enhance their active participation in tackling school violence and bullying, as has been the case in countries such as Sweden, the Republic of Korea and Uruguay). The use of peer-approaches has been ‘a critical success factor in countries that have made significant progress’ in addressing school violence (UNESCO, 2019: 50), with Italy’s KiVA initiative motivating bystanders to stand-up for school-violence victims (UNESCO, 2019). In addition, the ‘befriending strategy’ can be implemented. It encourages classmates to support victims of bullying. This type of interactions has the power to change the dynamics of bullying behaviour within the classroom and increase positive attitude among the students (Alabi and Lami, 2015).

Designate a member of the school staff to be in charge of all the school-violence complaints, of investigating the allegations in a timely manner, and reporting the incidents to relevant stakeholders. Likewise, designate a district administrator responsible for collecting and responding to all school-violence reports in the district whenever possible (GLSEN, n.d.). 

Define the interventions that must take place for the victimizers –make sure that they have both a constructive and a punitive component. Examples of purely constructive approaches have been known to show positive and long-lasting results. For instance, a study done in secondary schools in Ilorin, Nigeria, highlighted two therapeutic approaches as effective in reducing bullying behaviour: Client-Centred Therapy (CCT) and Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) (Alabi and Lami, 2015). Through the first approach, CCT, therapists help victimizers discover their positive interpersonal relationship skills, and support them in changing the way they socialize with their peers. The second approach, REBT, attributes bullying behaviour to irrational facets of the victimizer’s belief system formed during childhood (Alabi and Lami, 2015: 64). Through this approach, therapists help victimizers replace their irrational and self-defeating beliefs, which lead them to bullying behaviours, into more rational and self-helping ones (Alabi and Lami, 2015). Overall, both strategies reduced bullying behaviours of students who followed an hour-long session for eight weeks in the two treatment schools (Alabi and Lami, 2015).

Defining interventions for the victims is also necessary. Give priority to vulnerable children as a result of ethnicity, disability, gender or sexual orientation (UNESCO, 2019).

Promote professional development opportunities at a national, district and school level to prevent school-violence (UNESCO, 2019). This helps stakeholders, principally teachers, to learn how to prevent, identify and handle school-violence (Pepler and Craig, 2014). Create effective communication campaigns about the bullying prevention plan, which must be very well known and understood by all stakeholders. It is essential to make strategic communication campaigns adapted to each public (Pepler and Craig, 2014).

  • For the children, translate the messages into simple ideas, create posters which explain the issue; make children draw posters themselves about the problem or make them perform role plays to ensure their understanding.
  • For the parents/guardians, translate the messages into relevant languages when possible. Organize workshops to explain the issue of bullying (e.g. ‘Learning without Fear’ campaign in Paraguay organized a series of workshops to eradicate and prevent school violence (Lopez, 2014).).
  • For school staff, disseminate the bullying prevention plan in a printed or online form. Organize guided group discussions to talk about it.  

Provide systematic support mechanisms to encourage children to speak up and seek support (UNESCO, 2019). Establish child-sensitive reporting and complaint mechanisms, ensure access to trained counsellors (e.g. countries such as Lebanon, the Republic of Korea and Jamaica all provide school counsellors for victims of school-related violence (UNESCO, 2019).), offer care and support mechanisms, and promote mediation, conciliation and other restorative approaches.

References
Alabi, Y.L.; Lami, M.M 2015. ‘Efficacy of client-centred and rational-emotive behaviour therapies in reducing bullying behaviour among in-school adolescents in Ilorin, Nigeria’. In: International Journal of Instruction, vol. 8, pp. 61–74. Retrieved from: https://essa-africa.org/node/501?i=d&id=627

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). n.d. Enumeration. New York: GLSEN. Retrieved from: https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/Enumeration_0.pdf

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). n.d. Model School Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy: Ensuring Safe and Effective Schools for All. New York: GLSEN. Retrieved from: https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/Model%20Policy%20-%20School%204.12.13_0.pdf

GLSEN(Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). n.d. Model District Anti-Bullying & Harassment Policy: Model language, commentary & resources. New York: GLSEN. Retrieved from: https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/Model%20District%20LGBTQ-Inclusive%20Anti-Bullying%20%26%20Harassment%20Policy.pdf

Greytak, E.A.; Kosciw, J.G.; Villenas, C.; Giga, N.M. 2016. From Teasing to Torment: School Climate Revisited, A Survey of U.S. Secondary School Students and Teachers. New York: GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). Retrieved from: https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/TeasingtoTorment2015_ExecSumm%20FINAL.pdf

López, V. 2014. Education and Development Post-2015: School Climate. Notes Nº4. Santiago de Chile: OREALC-UNESCO (Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean). Retrieved from: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/FIELD/Santiago/pdf/APUNTE04-ING.pdf

Ontario. n.d. Creating Safe and Accepting Schools: Information for Parents about the Accepting Schools Act (Bill 13). Ontario: Queen’s Printer for Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teachers/climate.html

Pepler, D.; Craig, W. 2014. Bullying Prevention and Intervention in the School Environment: Factsheets and Tools. Kingston: PREVNet (Canada’s authority on research and resources for bullying prevention). Retrieved from: https://www.prevnet.ca/resources/bullying-prevention-facts-and-tools-for-schools

UNESCO Bangkok. 2016. Happy Schools! A Framework for Learner Well-being in the Asia-Pacific. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002441/244140e.pdf

UNESCO. 2017. Let’s decide how to measure school violence. Global Education Monitoring Report: Policy paper 29. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000246984

UNESCO. 2019. Behind the numbers: Ending school violence and bullying. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000366483

Policy options for improving Equity and Inclusion

Gender-responsive policies

Promising policy options

Strengthen the national School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) policy and legislative framework

Prevention and response measures to SRGBV should be incorporated into national policies and legislation, with strong governmental leadership recognizing the need for comprehensive, coordinated action. Integrate prevention and responses to SRGBV into Education Sector Plans and national policies, with indicators and targets to monitor achievement, action plans and guidelines, protocols for reporting and responses, school codes of conduct, school safety policies, counselling and support services, national curriculum, school infrastructure, and policies based on research-based evidence.

National multi-sectoral action plan on SRGBV should focus on the school-context, must be gender-responsive, must consider diversity and needs of marginalized students, should include organisational experts, civil society, and other key stakeholders in plan’s development, and should include action plan and guidelines that are sufficiently supported by resources.

Develop strong legal framework addressing SRGBV. Implement and enforce legislation prohibiting SRGBV, such as binding codes of conduct and mandatory reporting requirements, and harmonize legislation across sectors, such as children’s rights, corporal punishment, sexual violence and, bullying.

It is fundamental to implement system-wide review and reforms of the education sector, to ensure effective SRGBV prevention and response throughout different levels: Ministry of education, teacher training institutions, schools, students, and teachers. Transparency and accountability for the government’s SRGBV commitments are also a high priority.

References
GPE (Global Partnership for Education), UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). 2017. Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans. Washington D.C.: The Global Partnership for Education. Retrieved from: https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/guidance-developing-gender-responsive-education-sector-plans

Greene, M.; Robles, O.; Stout, K.; Suvilaakso, T. 2013. A girl’s right to learn without fear: Working to end gender-based violence at school. Woking: Plan International. Retrieved from: https://plan-international.org/file/346/download?token=vx7SY5HX

Leach, F.; Dunne, M.; Salvi, F. 2014. A global review of current issues and approaches in policy, programming and implementation responses to School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) for the Education Sector. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/HIV-AIDS/pdf/SRGBV_UNESCO_Global_ReviewJan2014.pdf

Parkes, J.; Heslop, J.; Ross, F.J.; Westerveld, R.; Unterhalter, E. 2016. A rigorous review of global research evidence on policy and practice on school-related gender-based violence. New York: UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). Retrieved from: http://www.ungei.org/srgbv/files/SRGBV_review_FINAL_V1_web_version_2.pdf

Plan International, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2014. Toolkit and analysis of legislation and public policies: to protect children and adolescents from all forms of violence in schools. Panama: Plan International, UNICEF. Retrieved from: http://www.ungei.org/Toolkit_and_Analysis_of_Legislation_and_Public_Policies_To_Protect_Children_and_Adolescents_from_all_Forms_of_Violence_in_Schools_ENG(1).pdf

UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2007. Eliminating violence against children. Paris: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Eliminating_violence_against_children_eng.pdf

Create safe and supportive school environments

School environments should be safe, child-centred and inclusive, with a clear policy against SRGBV and measures to prevent incidents from occurring. This includes the existence of gender-responsive infrastructure within schools, safe travel options to and from school, and a culture of governance against SRGBV.

Implement general constructive disciplinary interventions to prevent SRGBV and create safe and supportive school climate (see strategies proposed in the general section of the present Policy page). Provide a safe, welcoming, gender-responsive physical school infrastructure, with safe locations for school buildings within the community.

Separate, lockable toilets for girls and boys, and for staff, providing regular maintenance of the facilities. Facilitate hygienic facilities to change and dispose of menstrual materials, and sufficient lighting on school grounds. Having a good level of visibility of the educational spaces, with sufficient number of windows and doors also helps in preventing SRGBV.

Monitor spaces where children might be more susceptible to SRGBV, including near latrines, school perimeter, and empty spaces. Increase safety of travel to and from school, such as through safe transport options and patrols; work with the local community and police to establish safe practices.

School management and governing bodies should create a ‘culture of governance’ against SRGBV, with learner-centered environments. Create a welcoming environment, with strong messages that SRGBV is not acceptable and strong codes of conduct for all staff, students, and parents, clearly prohibiting all forms of SRGBV (see below).

Inclusive school culture should comprise:

  • inclusive leaders, encourage joint participation in leadership positions;
  • collaboration among staff;
  • commitment to celebrating diversity; and
  • connections with parents and communities.
References
Raising Voices. 2011. The good school toolkit. Retrieved from: http://raisingvoices.org/good-school/download-good-school-toolkit/

UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). n.d. A whole school approach to prevent school-related gender-based violence: Minimum standards and monitoring framework. New York: UNGEI. Retrieved from: https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Whole-School-Approach-to-Prevent-SRGBV-Minimum-Standards-Framework-UNGEI.pdf

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2009d. Child Friendly Schools Manual. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Child_Friendly_Schools_Manual_EN_040809.pdf.

Develop a clear code of conducts against SRGBV and enforce disciplinary procedures

School codes of conduct provide guidelines on expected ethical norms and prohibited behaviour within the school and are therefore important tools to clearly state the school’s policy and response system to SRGBV. Codes of conduct should be developed in consultations with multiple stakeholders including teachers, students, parents and school officials and can also include the wider community. The code should be widely disseminated and known among all students and staff and be regularly reviewed and monitored.

Include explicit definitions of all forms of SRGBV including bullying, corporal punishment, sexual violence and child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, dating violence, which should align with international and/or local definitions and agreed upon through participatory stakeholder dialogues. Make sure that language does not place blame on victims, that this is well visible and understood students, staff and parents, and that reporting mechanisms are provided.

Enforce consequences for breaking the code of conduct and established disciplinary procedures for perpetrators, emphasizing and promoting a positive and safe school environment. 

Newly formed codes of conduct should be formally endorsed by ministry officials and monitoring mechanisms established to enforce the code of conduct and inform its use. Oversight Committees (made up of teachers, students, parents, and school administrators) can be in charge of reviewing SRGBV cases and applying disciplinary responses, as well as referring victims to services.

*Consult ‘How to Develop and Implement a Code of Conduct to Address SRGBV? An Illustrative Checklist’ pg. 59 in: UNESCO. 2016c. Global Guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence.

References
Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). n.d. A whole school approach to prevent school-related gender-based violence: Minimum standards and monitoring framework. New York: UNGEI. Retrieved from: https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Whole-School-Approach-to-Prevent-SRGBV-Minimum-Standards-Framework-UNGEI.pdf

Develop curriculum to prevent SRGBV and promote gender equality 

Curriculum addressing SRGBV and societal gender norms is a key part of prevention since a gender-responsive curriculum can challenge the established norms around gender power dynamics, teaching children to promote gender equality and non-violence.  The curriculum should be focused on preventing violence, promoting gender equality, addressing the ideas and beliefs around gender norms that perpetuate SRGBV, healthy relationship and communication practices, and presenting the appropriate responses to SRGBV and resources for when incidents do occur. Quality and motivated teachers should be trained to deliver curriculum contents using participatory pedagogical methods.

*For detailed policy measures consult the Gender Section of the Policy page Curriculum.

References
Haberland, N. et al. 2009. It’s all one curriculum: Guidelines and activities for a unified approach to sexuality, gender, HIV and human rights education. New York: Population Council. Retrieved from: https://www.popcouncil.org/uploads/pdfs/2011PGY_ItsAllOneGuidelines_en.pdf

Leach, F.; Dunne, M.; Salvi, F. 2014. A global review of current issues and approaches in policy, programming and implementation responses to School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) for the Education Sector. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/HIV-AIDS/pdf/SRGBV_UNESCO_Global_ReviewJan2014.pdf

RTI International. 2015a. A guide for strengthening gender equality and inclusiveness in teaching and learning materials. Washington D.C.: U.S. Agency for International Development. Retrieved from: http://www.ungei.org/srgbv/files/gender_responsive_ECCN.pdf

UNESCO. 2009b. International technical guidance on sexuality education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002607/260770e.pdf

UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

Train teachers and staff on how to prevent and respond to SRGBV

Education staff, including teachers, school leaders, and administrators should be trained on how to prevent and respond to SRGBV through high-quality pre-service and in-service training. This will include gender-responsive approaches within teacher training institutes, with modules on SRGBV, societal gender norms and gender inequality, positive gender-responsive pedagogical practices as well as tools to identify and respond to incidents of SRGBV.

Gender-responsive content should exist within teacher training college curricula. Work with teachers to understand their own personal experiences with gender-based violence, and the influence of gender norms in their own lives since this will then allow them to understand how their teaching environment can affect the perpetuation of these systems.

Teach educators how to understand and tackle down gender norms and expectations and their connections to discrimination and gender violence, including for LGBTIQ students. This involves positive gender-responsive teaching and learning methods, participatory, child-friendly pedagogical methods and positive discipline and classroom management methods that do not perpetuate violence.

Make emphasis on strengthening positive behaviour rather than just punishing negative behaviours and foster alternatives to corporal punishment. Practice equality within teaching and with students, with all students receiving the same respectful treatment.

Make sure teachers have the capacity to identify and respond to SRGBV. This can be achieved by promoting awareness of classroom dynamics, such as gender, power, racial, ethnic dynamics, and by giving out tools to respond to conflict within the classroom, including discrimination, homophobia, and racism.

Teachers should be able to recognize the practices students use to bully and harass each other and have a firm understanding of the school’s code of conduct and how to respond when students witness, experience or commit violence. Headteachers and school leadership must be properly be trained on how to respond to school violence incidents.

References
Greene, M.; Robles, O.; Stout, K.; Suvilaakso, T. 2013. A girl’s right to learn without fear: Working to end gender-based violence at school. Woking: Plan International. Retrieved from: https://plan-international.org/file/346/download?token=vx7SY5HX

Heslop, J. 2016. Technical brief: Engaging communities in dialogue on gender norms to tackle violence in and around schools. London: University College of London – Institute of Education. Retrieved from: http://www.ungei.org/resources/files/Technical_Brief_Final.pdf

IREX. n.d. Creating supportive learning environments for girls and boys: A guide for educators. Washington D.C.: IREX. Retrieved from: http://www.ungei.org/srgbv/files/creating-supportive-learning-environments-girls-boys.pdf

UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). n.d. A whole school approach to prevent school-related gender-based violence: Minimum standards and monitoring framework. New York: UNGEI. Retrieved from: https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Whole-School-Approach-to-Prevent-SRGBV-Minimum-Standards-Framework-UNGEI.pdf

USAID (United States Agency for International Development). 2009b. Doorways III – Teacher training manual on SRGBV prevention and response. Washington D.C.: USAID. Retrieved from: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1865/Doorways_III_Teachers_Manual.pdf

Establish clear reporting and response systems  

Procedures and mechanisms within schools for reporting and responding to incidents of SRGBV should be confidential, clear, safe, and easily accessible. Monitoring organizations can ensure that SRGBV incidents are being properly managed, and that disciplinary procedures are enforced. This means mechanisms should lead to a prompt, adequate investigation of complaints and effective disciplinary action, including procedures for a referral to other services (see the section below).

Appoint trained focal teachers, who students can refer to for the first line of response, and ensure prompt disciplinary response with protection for victims. For example, by having school suggestion boxes, staff focal points, telephone helplines, and online reporting.

Some key considerations that need to be taken are:

  • Are students aware of the reporting process and do they understand what it involves?
  • How is reporting linked to referral and support networks?
  • How to provide support if reporting is anonymous?
  • How to ensure confidentiality?
  • Is there a data monitoring system in place to track trends?
  • What are particular barriers for students from marginalized groups, such as LGBTIQ students?

Review the organization currently in place that is responsible for the monitoring of the school response system and evaluate the management of reported SRGBV incidents. Hold staff members accountable for inadequate incident management, and provide recommendations. This can be done through the school management committee, parent-teacher association, and parent groups.

School staff should have a clear understanding of reporting legal obligations and procedures. Some questions to answer are:

  • When is a teacher legally required to report SRGBV to the school?
  • When is the school focal point required to report SRGBV to the police?
  • What types of reporting protections are given to the person reporting and/or to the victim?
  • What is the timing to report SRGBV incidents?
References
Leach, F.; Dunne, M.; Salvi, F. 2014. A global review of current issues and approaches in policy, programming and implementation responses to School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) for the Education Sector. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/HIV-AIDS/pdf/SRGBV_UNESCO_Global_ReviewJan2014.pdf

South Africa Department of Education. 2001. Opening our eyes: Addressing gender-based violence in South African schools- a module for educators. Pretoria: South Africa Department of Education. Retrieved from: https://www.education.gov.za/Portals/0/Documents/Publications/Opening %20Our%20Eyes%20Manual%20for%20TeachersReduced.pdfhttps://www.education.gov.za/Portals/0/Documents/Publications/Opening%20Our%20Eyes%20Manual%20for%20TeachersReduced.pdf

UNESCO. 2011b. Stopping violence in schools: a guide for teachers. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001841/184162e.pdf

UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). n.d. A whole school approach to prevent school-related gender-based violence: Minimum standards and monitoring framework. New York: UNGEI. Retrieved from: https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Whole-School-Approach-to-Prevent-SRGBV-Minimum-Standards-Framework-UNGEI.pdf

Provide quality victim support services   

As with reporting mechanisms, the systems in place for providing assistance to victims of SRGBV should be confidential, safe, accessible, and child-friendly. Support provided to victims includes access to quality counselling and health services, and, when needed, referrals to outside agencies such as medical care, law enforcement, and legal services.

Make sure that student-centred procedures are in place when incidents of SRGBV occur. Provide counselling that is safe, accessible and confidential, with safe, appropriate environments for counselling sessions by fostering a survivor-focused approach that does not blame the victim, with well-trained counsellors, who are given enough time during the school day to carry out counselling duties. Counsellors should know how, when and where to refer students to other services. More importantly, students should know how to access services and trust their confidentiality, and protocols should be in place concerning the child’s safety and health.

Some examples of types of counselling provided are:

  • designated teacher mentors;
  • school counsellors;
  • trained community volunteers; and
  • peer counselling and support.

Referral structures must be established to guide victims to relevant services, such as medical treatment, psycho-social services, legal services, and law enforcement. Schools must know the options of services and organizations that students can be referred to, what their capacities and reputations are, and if they are confidential, always making sure that the needs of victims/survivors are always considered throughout the process, and that the schools understand the mandated reporting procedures.

References
UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). n.d. A whole school approach to prevent school-related gender-based violence: Minimum standards and monitoring framework. New York: UNGEI. Retrieved from: https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Whole-School-Approach-to-Prevent-SRGBV-Minimum-Standards-Framework-UNGEI.pdf

USAID (United States Agency for International Development). 2009a. Doorways II: Community counsellor training manual on school-related gender-based violence prevention and response. Washington D.C.: USAID. Retrieved from: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1865/Doorways_II_Counselors_Manual.pdf

Coordinate and collaborate with multi-sectoral stakeholders    

As SRGBV is rooted in multi-faceted societal and cultural norms, it is essential to have a multi-sectoral approach, addressing issues not just at school but involving families, teachers’ unions and the greater community. Coordination among multiple government ministries and levels is also needed, including sectors such as health, social services, law enforcement, child protection, and the transportation sector, through inter-ministerial coordination mechanism, by providing training to relevant players such as law enforcement and judicial system.

Partnerships with teachers’ unions can support the training of teachers, create materials, and promote awareness and advocacy. This involves training on school codes of conduct, the development of response guidelines to SRGBV, the creation of curriculum development groups, and having advocates at national level for inclusion of SRGBV in teacher training curricula.

Community mobilization can raise awareness, advocacy work, and community-based programming. This can help connect with hard-to-reach children populations, engage with men and boys to shift gender expectations and norms and provide safe transport options to and from school. It can also address causes of structural violence by combining the focus on gender relations and economic empowerment. Working with traditional community and faith leaders can help combat harmful gender norms and denounce gender-based violence.

Parents/families can be involved through school management committees, parent-teacher associations, and school-boards. By engaging parents on SRGBV topics including positive discipline and parenting behaviours, gender norms, adolescent dating, and violence, faster change can be achieved.

Create platforms for children’s participation as change agents, such as school governance, where girls and boys are equally represented, with children trained as peer educators or mentors. Integrate child rights approaches into school curricula. Work with journalists and news media to practice gender-aware media reporting, properly demonstrating the connection between violence and gender norms. TV and radio programmes that address issues of gender-based violence can help with advocacy and awareness campaigns.

References
Greene, M.; Robles, O.; Stout, K.; Suvilaakso, T. 2013. A girl’s right to learn without fear: Working to end gender-based violence at school. Woking: Plan International. Retrieved from: https://plan-international.org/file/346/download?token=vx7SY5HX

Heslop, J. 2016. Technical brief: Engaging communities in dialogue on gender norms to tackle violence in and around schools. London: University College of London – Institute of Education. Retrieved from: http://www.ungei.org/resources/files/Technical_Brief_Final.pdf

Leach, F.; Dunne, M.; Salvi, F. 2014. A global review of current issues and approaches in policy, programming and implementation responses to School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) for the Education Sector. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/HIV-AIDS/pdf/SRGBV_UNESCO_Global_ReviewJan2014.pdf

Parkes, J.; Heslop, J.; Ross, F.J.; Westerveld, R.; Unterhalter, E. 2016. A rigorous review of global research evidence on policy and practice on school-related gender-based violence. New York: UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). Retrieved from: http://www.ungei.org/srgbv/files/SRGBV_review_FINAL_V1_web_version_2.pdf

Pulizzi, S.; Rosenblum, L. 2007. Building a gender friendly school environment: A toolkit for educators and their unions. Education International. Retrieved from: https://hivhealthclearinghouse.unesco.org/sites/default/files/resources/bie_ei_building_gender_school_569_en.pdf

UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). n.d. A whole school approach to prevent school-related gender-based violence: Minimum standards and monitoring framework. New York: UNGEI. Retrieved from: https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Whole-School-Approach-to-Prevent-SRGBV-Minimum-Standards-Framework-UNGEI.pdf

Strengthen monitoring and evaluation on SRGBV    

Currently, violence against children, and in particular gender-based violence, is grossly under-reported which leads to a lack of recognition of the extent of the issue. Monitoring SRGBV is especially difficult due to challenges such as finding suitable methodology, lack of capacity, and ethical and safety concerns (Leach, 2006). An established monitoring and evaluation framework on SRGBV can provide more accurate data on the prevalence of incidents and track the enforcement and progress of policy and programming, to inform future responses. Ongoing research on SRGBV will also be important to inform best strategies.

Implement SRGBV M&E framework by having indicators to track progress and impact, monitoring these at national, district and school levels, and by having considerations of ethical and safety challenges. Integrate SRGBV data into comprehensive national data collection systems (EMIS), fostering ongoing research to inform policy and programming.

References
Bloom, S. 2008. Violence against women and girls: A compendium of monitoring and evaluation indicators. Washington D.C.: USAID (United States Agency for International Development). Retrieved from: http://www.cpc.unc/edu/measure/publications/ms-08-30

Leach, F. 2006. Researching gender violence in schools: methodological and ethical considerations. In: World Development. Vol, 24 (6), 129-47.

UNESCO. 2016c. Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Paris: UNESCO.  Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). n.d. A whole school approach to prevent school-related gender-based violence: Minimum standards and monitoring framework. New York: UNGEI. Retrieved from: https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Whole-School-Approach-to-Prevent-SRGBV-Minimum-Standards-Framework-UNGEI.pdf
Additional sources
Gennari, F.; Urban, A.M.; McCleary-Sills, J.; Arango, D.; Kiplesund, S. 2015. Violence against women and girls resource guide: Education sector brief. VAWG. Retrieved from: http://www.vawgresourceguide.org/sites/default/files/briefs/vawg_resource_guide_education_sector_brief_april_2015.pdf

Kim, J.H.; Bailey, S. n.d. Unsafe schools: A literature review of school-related gender-based violence in developing countries. Arlington: Development and Training Services, Inc. Retrieved from: http://www.endvawnow.org/uploads/browser/files/Unsafe_schools_lit_review_USAID_2008.pdf.pdf

Leach, F.; Slade, S.; Dunne, M. 2013. Promising practice in school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) prevention and response programming globally. Report commissioned for Concern Worldwide. Dublin: Concern Worldwide. Retrieved from: https://www.concern.net/sites/default/files/resource/2014/04/promising_practice_in_school-related_gender-based_violence_prevention_and_response_programming_globally.pdf

MSI (Management Systems International). 2008. Are Schools Safe Havens for Children? Examining school-related gender-based violence. Washington D.C.: U.S. Agency for International Development. Retrieved from: https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADM792.pdf

Parkes, J.; Heslop, J. 2011. Stop violence against girls in school: a cross-country analysis of baseline research from Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique. Johannesburg: Action Aid. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jo_Heslop/publication/320242441_Stop_Violence_Against_Girls_in_School_A_cross_country_analysis_of_baseline_research_from_Ghana_Kenya_and_Mozambique/links/5a82c139a6fdcc6f3eadd1b8/Stop-Violence-Against-Girls-in-School-A-cross-country-analysis-of-baseline-research-from-Ghana-Kenya-and-Mozambique.pdf

UNESCO. 2018. Connect with respect: Preventing gender-based violence in schools. Classroom programme for students in early secondary school. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000243252

Policies for children with disabilities

Promising policy options

Develop a twin-track approach

Kuper et al.’s research highlighted that even when mainstream programmes succeed in diminishing school-related violence, such as The Good Schools Study in Uganda, violence against children with disabilities remain high (2016). This is why it is recommended to develop targeted interventions to address school-related violence and bullying against children with disabilities, in addition to making mainstream programmes accessible and inclusive for all (Kuper et al., 2016).

When developing targeted interventions, it is recommended to ensure the active participation of children with disabilities as well as Disability People’s Organizations (DPOs) in their design, implementation and evaluation. This will help to:

  • tackle down multiple barriers (such as social, institutional, communicational);
  • take into consideration the multiple types of disabilities, and the particular needs and vulnerabilities associated with each one; and
  • analyse how the different types of violence are addressed.

Concerning mainstream policies, all of the strategies recommended in the general section of the present Policy page apply, yet educational planners must take concrete actions to ensure that they are accessible and inclusive Specific anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies within schools should take full account of the particular needs and vulnerabilities of children with disabilities.

Ensure that the professionals in charge of investigating and reporting school-related violence complaints, as well as those who provide support to victims, have knowledge on the rights of children with disabilities, their capacities, and vulnerabilities. Provide training on how to work with children with disabilities, and on how to use alternative forms of communication such as Braille, sign language. 

Ensure that the child-protection mechanisms developed within the schools, as well as the district and national level, are not only accessible but also actively reach out children with disabilities (tackle down institutional, social and communicational barriers), and that violence and bullying complaints formulated by children with disabilities are prioritized and taken seriously. Develop awareness raising campaigns about violence against children with disabilities with the support of DPOs.

Teach children with disabilities to recognize violence and abuse. Explain to them the bodies and authorities they can seek for help (for instance the school staff member in charge of school-violence complaints or the school counsellors who help victims of school-related violence). Families and community members should be also made aware of violence towards children with disabilities and the ways to prevent it. For instance, in Togo, multiple awareness raising campaigns were developed to promote the understanding of the rights of children with disabilities.

References
Kuper, H.; Banks, M.; Kelly, S.; Kyegombe, N.; Devries, K. 2016. Protect Us! Inclusion of children with disabilities in child protection. Woking: Plan International. Retrieved from: https://plan-international.org/publications/protect-us#download-options

UNESCO. 2019a. Behind the numbers: Ending school violence and bullying. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000366483

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2014. Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Webinar 14 – Companion Technical Booklet. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/eca/sites/unicef.org.eca/files/IE_Webinar_Booklet_14.pdf

Collect data to monitor the prevalence of school-related violence and bullying against children with disabilities and create evidence-based initiatives

There is a lack of data concerning school-related violence and bullying against children with disabilities (UNESCO, 2019a). Invest in the collection of data and research on school-related violence against children with disabilities in order to get a deeper knowledge about the issue (Kuper et al., 2016), and rigorously monitor mainstream and targeted interventions to get a clear view of the initiatives that are effectively addressing school-related violence against children with disabilities (Devries et al., 2014).

References
Devries, K. M.; Kyegombe, N.; Zuurmond, M.; Parkes, J.; Child, J.C.; Walakira, E.J.; Naker, D. 2014. ‘Violence against primary school children with disabilities in Uganda: a cross-sectional study’. In: BMC Public Health, No. 14, p. 1017. Retrieved from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/1017

Kuper, H.; Banks, M.; Kelly, S.; Kyegombe, N.; Devries, K. 2016. Protect Us! Inclusion of children with disabilities in child protection. Woking: Plan International. Retrieved from: https://plan-international.org/publications/protect-us#download-options

UNESCO. 2019a. Behind the numbers: Ending school violence and bullying. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000366483

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2014. Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Webinar 14 – Companion Technical Booklet. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/eca/sites/unicef.org.eca/files/IE_Webinar_Booklet_14.pdf

Policies for displaced populations and host communities

Promising policy options

All the policies recommended in the general section apply to the displaced population children enrolled in the host community schools.

Other policy options

Other policies which could assist in reducing school-based violence are:

School Collaboration with Media Outlets

Working with the media can be an effective tool for creating awareness, reporting abuses, disseminating information across a wide section of the community and creating broader support to prevent and respond to the violence faced. Media reports should focus on the positive results of actions to address violence against children – not just the actual violations or the blame directed at perpetrators. This is especially important when addressing forms of violence that have a degree of social acceptance in the community.

Compile a local and national media contact list that includes radio, television, print and Internet media in order to establish and promote constructive relationships. Explore creative ways to effectively use the media to influence government policy, inform the public about the issue, and change public attitudes. Build relationships with journalists and feature writers, and offer expertise to comment on relevant topics and news items.

Identify the procedures for getting event information into newspapers, calendars and other listings. Invite the media to cover or co-sponsor events and religious services, and draw attention to the need for reform for children through open letters to the editor signed by prominent individuals.

Write press releases, opinion features and editorial letters to the editor when something newsworthy happens. Share Internet links, information databases and media contacts with communities in order to extend the networks of information sharing. For example, the children of the Bhowani Child Club in Eastern Nepal, who meet at least once a month, are taking action to improve their lives by raising money from the local community and building a Child Club House. They also established a children’s library there. Through hosting discussions and putting on plays, the children have raised awareness about children’s rights in their village. They brought various issues into the open, from school enrolment to the importance of birth registration, vaccination, child abuse, child marriage, child trafficking, and health and sanitation.(UNICEF 2010)

Setting up school-based coordinating teams

The coordinating team should be comprise of all relevant stakeholders: teachers, school administrative staff, students, parents and members of the community. It is good to keep a balance of older and younger students and teachers, males, and females and it should be representative of different cultures, religions and those with special needs. Team members should not be appointed but selected by the group they are representing, and they should all be represented in equal numbers.

The coordinating team should meet regularly throughout the school year. The agenda of the meetings could include discussing the steps in putting in place violence prevention activities, reviewing existing violence prevention activities in schools and choosing prevention programmes and approaches, raising any concerns on violence in schools, sharing any trends or patterns observed, looking at how the school community responded to violence, and help plan community activities.

Strengthen the capacity of the coordinating team by developing the skills of the team members and all those who put in place violence prevention measures at school through standard training sessions. For example, the South African National School Safety Framework (NSSF) was endorsed by the Department of Basic Education in order to provide an all-inclusive strategy to guide the national department as well as the provincial education departments in a coordinated effort to address violence occurring within schools. The NSSF is a tool through which minimum standards for safety at school can be established, implemented and monitored and for which schools, districts, and provinces can be held accountable. It consists of a manual that describes the framework, including national policies, the roles, and responsibilities of various stakeholders in assuring safety at school and a 9-step-process to implement the manual. There is also a training guide for facilitators, disciplinary codes and training materials.

References
UNESCO-IBE (UNESCO International Bureau of Education) 2018. Training tools for Curriculum Development- A Resource Pack. Retrieved from :  https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000250420_eng?posInSet=6&queryId=dab9d9dc-dbda-4f17-b003-ad80a0fb5c70

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2017. Education Uprooted, For every migrant, refugee and displaced child, education. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/UNICEF_Education_Uprooted.pdf

Mr Rafael Huseynov. n.d. Education of refugees and internally displaced persons. Committee on Culture, Science and Education. Retrieved from: https://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/X2H-Xref-ViewHTML.asp?FileID=10365&lang=en

European Union. 2019. The contributions of youth work in the context of migration and refugee matters. A practical toolbox for youth workers and recommendations for policymakers. Retrieved from: https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/1bcaf566-6a29-11e9-9f05-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-search

UNICEF. Religions for Peace. 2010. From Commitment to Action: What religious communities can do to eliminate violence against children. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/protection/What_Religious_Communities_can_do_to_Eliminate_Violence_against_Children__(UNICEF_Religions_for_Peace_Guide).pdf

WHO (World Health Organization). 2019. School-Based Violence Prevention : A practical handbook. Geneva. Retrieved from : https://www.end-violence.org/sites/default/files/paragraphs/download/WHO%20Handbook.pdf

UNESCO. 2019. Behind the numbers: ending school violence and bullying. Retrieved from:  https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000366483

UNICEF-IDMC (United Nations Chilren’s Fund- Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre). Equitable access to quality education for internally displaced children. Retrieved from :  http://www.internal-displacement.org/sites/default/files/publications/documents/Education%20for%20Internally%20Displaced%20Children_web.pdf
Additional sources
UNESCO. Global Education Monitoring Report. Summary. 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sdg4education2030.org/global-education-monitoring-report-2019-unesco-november-2018

Mooney, E. and French, C., Barriers and Bridges: Access to education for internally displaced children, p.3, 2005.

UNICEF. 2011. The Role of Education in Peacebuilding. Retrieved from:  https://www.unicef.org/evaldatabase/index_61271.html

UNESCO. 2015. Humanitarian Aid for Education: Why it matters and why more is needed. 2015. Retrieved from : https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000233557

Mooney, E . and French, C., Education for IDPs: Poor Marks, Brookings Institution-University of Bern Project on Internal Displacement, Forced Migration Review. Retrieved from: https://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/FMRdownloads/en/education-emergencies/mooney-french.pdf

Ferris and Winthrop. 2010. Education and Displacement: Assessing Conditions for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons affected by Conflict. Retrieved from:  https://www.refworld.org/docid/4d7085712.html

UNESCO, EFA Global Monitoring Report. 2011. The Hidden Crises: Armed Conflict and Education. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000191186

Mooney, E. and French, C. Barriers and Bridges: Access to education for internally displaced children. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237246579_BARRIERS_AND_BRIDGES_ACCESS_TO_EDUCATION_FOR_INTERNALLY_DISPLACED_CHILDREN

Policies for minority populations

Promising policy options

All the policies recommended in the general section apply to the displaced population children enrolled in the host community schools.

Other policy options

Promoting peace through the religious community

Use the information obtained in the violence studies performed within the education system to educate people about the devastating effects of violence on children’s growth and development, as well as to contextualize the challenges within one’s own community.

Identify the teachings from religious texts that promote non-violence, non-discrimination and respect for children. Work with religious and community leaders to include these in liturgies, prayers and religious studies. Clarify the misinterpretations of religious texts used to perpetuate violence against children and/or inequality between boys and girls.

Teach ways of communicating and resolving conflicts without violence. Develop training materials to encourage theological reflection and to clarify scriptural interpretation in order to end religious belief-based justifications of violence against children, and challenge those who use their religion, culture or tradition to justify violence against children.

For instance, religious leaders in Norway take actions to clarify the understanding of religious texts, with church leaders agreeing to a proposal from the Norwegian Ombudsman for Children that a revision of the Bible should replace the word “chastisement” in the Old Testament book of Proverbs. The Children’s Ombudsman found that children who had contacted his office and said they had been subjected to physical harm believed the violence might have been authorized by the Bible.

In 2006, the Philippine Interfaith Network for Children was organized with assistance from UNICEF to bring together the different faith communities for the promotion of child rights and child protection. In that same year, almost 200 religious’ leaders of different faiths attended a major dialogue of the Mindanao Island group with a particular focus on child rights and the peace perspectives of non-state armed groups. The National Democratic Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Moro National Liberation Front participated in that dialogue, openly expressed their views on the protection of children and pledged their support to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (UNICEF)

Prevent violence through curriculum-based activities

Foster the development of life skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, decision-making, creative thinking, relationship skills, self-awareness building, empathy, and coping with stress and emotions (WHO, 2015). Such skills allow children to manage emotions, deal with conflict and communicate effectively in non-aggressive ways, reducing the risk of violent behaviour (WHO, 2016). They can also improve a school’s performance, which protects against youth violence through students playing a greater part in school life and having better employment prospects (WHO, 2015).

Teach children about safe behaviour, which includes the ability to recognize situations in which abuse or violence can happen and understand how to avoid potentially risky situations and where to find help. This knowledge can make children less vulnerable to abuse and reduce the risk of violence happening again (by telling a trusted adult, for example) (WHO, 2016).

Challenge social and cultural norms and promote equal relationships. Social and cultural behaviour and stereotypes around, for example, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and disability, increase the risk of bullying and violence. Challenging harmful norms and strengthening those that promote nonviolent, positive and equal relationships can reduce any justification for violent behaviour (WHO, 2016). Promoting political, religious and ethnic tolerance is also likely to be important in preventing hate crimes as well as violent extremism and radicalization (Bellis et al, 2017).

Preschool is an ideal place to begin working with children, before their behaviour and ways of thinking become deeply engrained.

When planning your curriculum, it will help to (based on UNESCO and UN Women 2016):

  • make sure the materials you use are appropriate to the age of the children;
  • use active participation to help children absorb information;
  • use capable and motivated educators and provide them with good-quality training on the content of messages and how to deliver them (training costs can be shared with other schools);
  • review the curriculum and get feedback from students and staff; and
  • make sure that materials are culturally relevant. This includes revising language, concepts, and delivery methods and testing it before using regularly.

For example, G.R.E.A.T. is a classroom curriculum that aims to prevent violent behaviour and gang membership as well as develop positive relationships between youths and police. The 13 lessons are delivered by police officers, who receive training in working with youths. Lessons include developing social and emotional skills and learning about crime and gang membership. G.R.E.A.T. was developed in the USA, but the approach has now been expanded to Central American countries such as Belize, Costa Rica and El Salvador, where police officers have been trained in delivering the project to primary school children (https://www.great-online.org/GREAT-Home)

Certain issues are important to include in the curriculum, such as citizenship, political, religious and ethnic tolerance, digital literacy and critical thinking, challenging social norms and values and tackling stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination (Bellis et al, 2017). UNESCO’s teacher’s guide on preventing violent extremism provides advice on when and how to discuss violent extremism and radicalization with students and how to create a classroom atmosphere that encourages discussion and critical thinking (UNESCO, 2016).

References
UNICEF. Religions for Peace. 2010. From Commitment to Action: What religious communities can do to eliminate violence against children. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/protection/What_Religious_Communities_can_do_to_Eliminate_Violence_against_Children__(UNICEF_Religions_for_Peace_Guide).pdf

WHO (World Health Organisation). 2019. School-Based Violence Prevention: A practical handbook. Retrieved from: https://www.end-violence.org/sites/default/files/paragraphs/download/WHO%20Handbook.pdf

UNESCO. UN Women. 2016. Global violence on addressing school-related gender-based violence. Retrieved from: http://www.ungei.org/Global_Guidance_SRGBV.pdf

UNESCO. 2016. Out in the open. Education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identify/expression. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000244756

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Updated on 2021-05-13

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