Millions of children around the world and hundreds right here in Fiji endure degrading and humiliating treatment from bullies every day which leaves them psychologically traumatized and many are scarred for life.
As we today mark International STAND UP to Bullying Day, the Citizens Constitutional Forum is calling on the Ministry of Education and all schools around the country to adopt” Stand up against Bullying day” to educate students, teachers and parents on dealing with bullies and to bring to the forefront the negative impact bullying has on the development of individuals and on society at large.
The Universal Declaration of Human rights Article 5 states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and CCF Chief Executive Officer Reverend Akuila Yabaki stresses that a collective and collaborated approach is needed by all stakeholders to uphold this right and address the ever increasing problem of bullying.
Citing recent studies, Reverend Yabaki says bullying is a common and potentially damaging form of violence among children. Not only does bullying harm both its intended victims and the perpetrators, it also may affect the climate of schools and, indirectly, the ability of all students to learn to the best of their abilities. He also stresses that the link between bullying and later delinquent and criminal behavior cannot be ignored.
“ It’s time to stand up and put a stop to bullying as adopting a comprehensive approach to reduce bullying at school can change students’ behaviors and attitudes, reduce other antisocial behaviors, and increase teachers’ willingness to intervene. These behaviors also do not just confine themselves to children, the classroom or playground, but can also prevalent in workplaces and homes by adults in later life”, says Reverend Yabaki.
International Day Against Bullying is a special bi-annual event in which participants sign and wear a pink “pledge shirt” to take a visible, public stance against bullying.