Fall 2010: Bullying and Human Rights

Bullying and Human Rights

"Everyone has the right to be respected and the responsibility to respect others."

                                                                                                          ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Being safe at school is a fundamental human right. Every child and youth has the right to be safe and free from the harmful effects of bullying. Children in all three roles with respect to bullying - those who are bullied, those who bully others, and those who know it is going on - can be negatively impacted. Negative effects include a lack of confidence in oneself and in others, an increased risk for depression and psychological disorders, poor academic and vocational achievement, and criminality.

Human rights education (HRE) has been proven to reduce bullying and improve the learning environment. Through human rights education (HRE), teachers can promote healthy relationships and prevent bullying - both in and out of the classroom (e.g., cyber-bullying). HRE supports children and youth in developing important social skills essential to bullying prevention, such as understanding, respect, social responsibility, conflict resolution, and citizenship. These attributes are not only the cornerstones of human rights, they are also the foundation for a cohesive, productive, and peaceful classroom, school, and society. This issue of Rights Sites News is dedicated to helping teachers create bully-free learning communities here everyone feels safe, valued, and respected.