International Day Against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying Date in the current year: November 3, 2022

International Day Against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying International Day Against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying is observed annually on the first Thursday of November. It was launched by UNESCO in 2019 to stress that all forms of violence and bullying at school must be prevented and combated by all means.

Bullying is systematic and repeated aggressive behavior intended to inflict physical, mental, or emotional distress on another individual. It should not be confused with normal peer conflict; unlike conflict, bullying is committed intentionally and involves an imbalance of physical or social power.

Bullying has no age limit, as a bullying culture can develop in any environment that involves human interaction, but bullying at school is a matter of special concern because children are especially vulnerable, and bullying can have a long-lasting effect on their lives.

Cyberbullying is a relatively new form of bullying (as opposed to physical, emotional and verbal abuse). It has developed due to the increasing availability and use of computers, the internet, and social media. Cyberbullying is more difficult to control since it occurs off-campus and it may be harder to identify the bullies because they often use anonymous online identities. In addition, many adults still take cyberbullying less seriously than other forms of bullying.

According to statistics, bullying affects approximately one third of students worldwide, with marginalized and vulnerable students being disproportionately affected. It has a detrimental effect on their emotional well-being and mental and physical health, as well as reduces access to quality education because a climate of insecurity and fear created by violence and bullying is incompatible with learning. Long-lasting effects of bullying at school can continue on into adulthood; for example, survivors of bullying can be more susceptible to stress and have trouble controlling it.

UNESCO member states that came up with the initiative of establishing an international day against bullying at school were France, Mexico, and Morocco. Their initiative was supported by UNESCO’s General Conference that officially established International Day Against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying at its 40th session in November 2019. It took place for the first time on November 5, 2020.

International Day Against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying events are held every year by various international, regional and national organizations, including NGOs, the educational community, businesses, and other stakeholders. Their main goal is to raise awareness of the immense harm caused by violence and bullying at school and to encourage everyone to participate in bullying prevention.

Every year, a new theme is chosen to focus on a specific aspect of the fight against bullying. Past themes have included “Together against bullying in school”, “Tackling cyberbullying and other forms of online violence involving children and young people”, and “Not on my watch: The role of teachers in preventing and addressing violence and bullying at school including cyberbullying”.

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International Day Against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying, international observances, bulling in schools