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Victimisation in schools (bullying/harassment/racist violence) ?

Key Area:
Discrimination, Equality
16/02/2012 - 13:10
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

In its Fourth Report on Cyprus in 2011, ECRI expressed concern about evidence of a marked increase in racist bullying in schools and among pupils, noting that in 2008 two complaints were filed with the Equality Body for repeated incidents of racist vandalism and graffiti on school walls creating a threatening atmosphere for vulnerable groups and for a 13 year old migrant girl who stopped attending school because of racist bullying. In neither case did the school take any action but downplayed the events as delinquent behaviour. In its report, the Equality Body criticised the unwillingness of the authorities to identify and tackle incidents of racism in schools and recommended the immediate setting up of a mechanism to record, evaluate and monitor such incidents in schools. Shortly afterwards the Ministry of Education created an Observatory against Violence to record and analyse episodes of violence in schools (covering all kinds of violence, not just racist violence) and separately record and assess all incidents with a racist and xenophobic content. Although the mechanism was set up, it still has not recorded any data. A private initiative undertaken by teachers at the bi-communal English School in Nicosia also involved the setting up of a mechanism to record bullying, including racist bullying. The mechanism is working but does not publicise its data, in an effort to intervene and address the problems in an educationally sound manner. The English School is the first school to adopt an anti-bullying policy in the year 2009-10, including bullying related to race or ethnicity. Research conducted under DAPHNE projects has indicated that as many as 1 in 5 school children in Cyprus have been victims of bullying at  school, but the data is not aggregated into types of bullying (racist or other type).

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Ethnic minorities
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Inter-ethnic
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Education
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