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International day against violence, bullying and cyberbullying – an effort to reduce the widespread anguish

Nov 04, 2021

Naseerah Nanabhai
03-11-2021

In 2019 UNESCO announced the first International Day Against Violence and Bullying, observed on the first Thursday of November each year, to create global awareness around the issue of bullying and help establish procedures for curbing it.

This year, it is celebrated under the theme “Tackling cyberbullying and other forms of online violence involving children and young people”.

While the digital era has positively transformed the way most things are done, it has also caused a shift from physical bullying and violence to what is known as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying involves the use of electronic communication to intimidate and or threaten someone. Also known as online bullying, it has become increasingly common lately, with evidence showing that cases of cyberbullying have mushroomed since the pandemic.

The consequences of bullying and cyberbullying are severe, with adverse effects on academic achievement, mental health, and quality of life in general. Children who are bullied are approximately three times more likely to feel like an outsider at school and more than twice as likely to miss school as those who are not frequently bullied.

While physical appearance seems to be top of the list of motives for bullying, UNESCO also points out ethnicity, nationality, and the colour of one’s skin to be reasons behind the torment. Generally, children who are seen as different in any way are more at risk of being bullied.

Bullying is never acceptable, and this day calls on the attention of schoolchildren, parents, members of the educational community, education authorities, and members of the tech industry to prevent online violence in maintaining our children’s safety and wellbeing of our children.

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