Building peace in the minds of men and women

Safe and non-violent learning environments for all: trends and progress


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UNESCO contributes to the measuring of progress towards Target 4.a of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education, which focuses on the provision of safe and non-violent learning environments for all children and adolescents. This resource houses regular reports, news, analyses and publications produced by UNESCO and its partners, which provide evidence and links to data sets indicating how the world is progressing towards the achievement of the target.

Target 4.a - “provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all”.

Unsafe learning environments reduce the quality of education for all learners. Affected learners may avoid or participate less in class or drop out of school altogether. They are at increased risk of anxiety, psychological stress, and depression. Violence, which includes bullying, occurs in classrooms, playgrounds, toilets, changing rooms, on the way to or from schools, and online. It can be carried out by students, educational and non-educational staff; and affects the victims, bystanders, and perpetrators themselves.

UNESCO led and coordinated the development of the definition of the new SDG Thematic Indicator 4.a.2 to measure “safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments”: “Percentage of students who experienced bullying during the past 12 months, by sex”. The new indicator, including a draft definition, was endorsed in January 2018 by the Technical Cooperation Group (TCG), which is the body in charge of the overall process for selecting SDG4 indicators; and finalized and validated by an international expert group in mid-2018.

Aong with its partners, UNESCO is committed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets which aim to ensure that all children and adolescents are able to fulfil their right to an inclusive, quality education in a safe learning environment.