On International Youth Day, a new poll highlights prevalence of bullying and its devastating impact on young people.

12 August 2016: More than nine out of 10 young people believe bullying is a pervasive problem in their communities, and two-thirds say they have experienced bullying first hand - a new poll conducted by UNICEF and their partners shows. 

The poll was conducted through U-Report, a rapidly growing youth engagement tool that provides a platform for over 2 million young ‘U-Reporters’ from more than 20 countries. Through the poll young people were asked via SMS, Facebook and Twitter, a series of questions relating to the impact of bullying in their community, their own personal experiences of bullying and what they think can be done to end this type of violence. More than 100,000 U-Reporters, recruited by partners such as the Scouts and Girl Guides, with an estimated age of 13-30, participated in the poll including young people from Senegal, Mexico, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mozambique, Ukraine, Chile, Malaysia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Pakistan, Ireland, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Indonesia, Zambia and through the Global U-Report channel. 

“Bullying, including online bullying, remains a largely misunderstood risk to the wellbeing of children and young people,” said UNICEF’s Senior Adviser on Child Protection, Theresa Kilbane. 

“To end this type of violence, we must improve public awareness of the harmful impact of bullying, equip teachers, parents and peers with the skills to identify risks and report incidents, and provide care and protection for victims.”

Other findings from the U-Report poll include:

One-third of respondents thought being bullied was normal so they did not tell anyone. 

The majority of respondents who reported being victims of bullying said they were bullied because of their physical appearance. 

Bullying was also attributed to gender or sexual orientation and ethnicity. 

One quarter of victims said they did not know who to tell.

Over eight in 10 respondents believe that raising awareness including through teacher training around helping children to feel comfortable reporting bullying is one way to address the issue in schools. 

UNICEF works to engage children and adolescents on the impact of bullying as part of its global End Violence Against Children initiative including through the U-Report platform and through global social media campaigns (#ENDViolence.) UNICEF, together with its partners, also works to strengthen education systems in schools and establish strong referral systems for child welfare. 

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Notes to Editors:


U-Report is a social messaging tool available in 24 countries with a subscriber base of over two million young people. The platform allows users to respond to polls and report on issues with the results being used to help advocate for social and political change.  U-Reporters also receive the results and are sent information and advice from UNICEF, our partners and U-Reporters themselves.

For more information on U-Report: https://ureport.in/ 

International Youth Day

In 1985, the UN celebrated the first International Year of Youth launched on August 12- International Youth Day. Today, International Youth Day draws attention to a range of cultural and legal challenges related to young people. It provides a forum to discuss how to strengthen national capacity in youth focused areas and to increase opportunities available to young people for full, effective and constructive participation in society.

For more information, please contact:

Unicef UK Press Office, Tel:+44 (0)20 7375 6030 media@unicef.org.uk

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  

As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information about Unicef and its work visit: unicef.org.uk