This blog was also published by UIS
Almost one-third of young teens worldwide have recently experienced bullying, according to data published for the first time by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). The data are part of a major new release of 32 global and thematic indicators to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), which included the updating of the UIS global education database for the school year ending in 2017.
We know that bullying in schools affects the ability of youth to learn, can contribute to feelings of worthlessness and leads to higher dropout rates. That’s why the SDG thematic indicator 4.a.2 - which tracks bullying – is so important.
Schools should be a safe zone for all young people. Quality education depends on it. Yet, health surveys show us that bullying affects children everywhere. It ranges from a low of 7% of all adolescents in Tajikistan to a whopping 74% in Samoa and is pervasive across all regions and countries of different income levels. For example, 44% of adolescents in Afghanistan experience bullying, as do 35% of adolescents in Canada, 26% in Tanzania and 24% in Argentina.
Data based on self-reporting
The data were collected from in-school surveys that track the physical and emotional health of youth. The Global School Health Survey (GSHS) focuses on children aged 13 to 17 years in low-income regions. Similarly, the Health Behavior in School-Age Children (HBSC) targets young people aged 11 to 15 years in 42 countries, primarily in Europe and North America.
Clearly, self-reporting has limitations. Some bullied children may be reluctant to reveal incidents in school or fear exposing someone in a position of authority who may be condoning (or even perpetrating) this behavior. This could mean that bullying in some communities may actually be under-reported.