EU Code Week committed to empowering youth to combat cyberbullying

Publication date: November 2, 2023

On November 2, the world commemorates International Day against Violence and Bullying at School, Including Cyberbullying as declared by UNESCO. This significant day recognises that violence in educational settings infringes upon children and adolescents’ rights to education, health, and well-being. It calls upon all stakeholders to join hands in creating safe learning environments, especially in the digital realm. EU Code Week is a staunch supporter of this initiative, and we are committed to equipping young people with the necessary tools to stay safe online. In this blog post, we discuss the importance of addressing cyberbullying and some of the resources EU Code Week offers to tackle this issue. 

In an increasingly digital world, the issue of cyberbullying has taken on greater significance. Fo instance, worldwide, a significant number of children and adolescents face the harsh reality of school-related violence and bullying, including the digital variant known as cyberbullying. These forms of violence not only affect their well-being and education, but also infringe upon their fundamental rights. Certainly, the impact of cyberbullying on young people’s mental health, self-esteem, and overall happiness cannot be overstated. 

No place for fear  

UNESCO’s International Day against Violence and Bullying at School, Including Cyberbullying highlights the interconnection between school violence and mental health. The day’s theme for 2023, “No place for fear: Ending school violence for better mental health and learning”, underscores the pressing need to address these issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated concerns about learners’ mental health and well-being, making it crucial to ensure that schools are safe and supportive environments. 

EU Code Week’s commitment 

EU Code Week is deeply committed to addressing cyberbullying and empowering young people to stay safe online. We understand that a safe digital environment is essential for the well-being and learning of children and youth. To support this initiative, we offer a range of resources that can help in preventing and combatting cyberbullying. 

For example, several EU Code Week podcasts offer valuable insights into digital child rights and cybersecurity, equipping both educators and students with the knowledge needed to stay safe in the online world. These include a podcast on Digital Child Rights, in which social entrepreneur Peter Joziasse talks about giving children opportunities in the digital world and giving them a voice. There is also a podcast on Cybersecurity, with everything teachers and pupils need to know to stay safe online. 

On the Code Week site, you can also find a training course on Coding for Inclusion that aims to create safe and inclusive digital spaces for all. It provides educators with tools to foster a respectful and supportive online community. There is also a Code Week activity on Cyberbullying, which offers a Scratch resource that students and teachers can use to promote non-violent online behaviour.  

As we commemorate UNESCO’s International Day against Violence and Bullying at School, Including Cyberbullying on November 2, the EU Code Week community should renew its commitment to creating safe digital spaces and empowering young people to combat cyberbullying. Together, we can end violence, promote good mental health, and ensure that learners can thrive in safe and supportive environments, both  physical and digital.