Press Release — December 04, 2018

Young People Across the World Stand Up Against Violence in Schools at the African Youth Development Summit


4 December 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa – As part of UNICEF’s global #ENDviolence campaign, more than 100 children and young people from around the world gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa this weekend to draft a global manifesto calling on world leaders to end violence in and around schools. The event was held during the African Youth Development Summit hosted by JCI, Africa80 and the African Peer Review Mechanism.

The manifesto was a coordinated effort made by JCI, UNICEF, Global Citizen and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children ahead of the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival. Children and young people travelled from countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas to draw up a set of recommendations detailing what they need to feel safe in and around school.

Within the Youth Manifesto, students highlighted the importance and need for protection within schools, and called for legal measures to keep students safe in school and on the journey, clear rules and regulations on student behavior, trained teachers and counsellors to respond to students in need, as well as environments that promote diversity and peaceful coexistence. They also called for students to treat one another with respect and break taboos often associated with reporting violence to teachers and other authorities.

The manifesto drew on a recent UNICEF poll of young people, which received more than 1 million responses from over 160 countries and suggestions from a series of student-led #ENDviolence Youth Talks held around the world. In both, students were invited to voice what they need to feel safe in and around school.

“We’re here to represent the millions of children and young people who face violence at school every day,” said 18-year-old Khuthadzo Silima from South Africa. “The message we want to get across is clear, adults must listen to us and take the issue of school violence seriously.”

The #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto will be presented to Ministers at The Education World Forum in January 2019 as part of a collective effort to end violence in and around schools led by organizations including UNICEF, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), UNESCO, other members of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). Read the full version of the Youth Manifesto.

About JCI
JCI is a global network of young active citizens age 18 to 40 whose purpose is providing development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change around the world, uniting all sectors of society to create sustainable impact. For more information visit:

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit:

About the African Youth Development Summit
The African Youth Development Summit--co-hosted by JCI, Africa80 and the African Peer Review Mechanism--brought together 120 exceptional young leaders from 22 countries. Presented alongside the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100, the Summit engaged delegates to find their own solutions to Africa's greatest challenges and take ownership of the future of their communities, countries and continent through the #IAmAfrica Campaign.

About the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children was launched in July 2016 by the UN Secretary-General. The unique public-private collaboration is focused solely on ending violence against all children and includes governments, UN agencies, civil society, faith groups, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, research practitioners, academics and children themselves – uniting their voices, actions and resources. In its first two years, the Partnership has: enrolled 23 governments as ‘Pathfinder’ countries; grown its membership to over 320 organizations; helped develop and promote the INSPIRE solutions; and awarded $30 million in grants to tackle online child sexual abuse, and violence against children in conflict and crises.

JCI Media Contact
Krissy Durant
Senior Director of Membership Services

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