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Learn Without Fear: Three years on

March 2012: Three years after the launch of Plan’s global campaign against violence in Girls in classroomschools, new laws and policies are in place to protect 485 million children from corporal punishment, sexual violence and bullying.

The success is one of the highlights in the Learn Without Fear campaign third progress report, which also underlines how violence in schools remains widespread – with 79 countries with laws still allowing teachers to physically punish children.

Violence in schools affects millions of children, physically and psychologically – while communities and economies suffer financially from the subsequent non-attendance, dropping out and poor attainment.


Despite these major challenges, progress has been made. Plan’s achievements worldwide so far include:

  • nearly 53,000 teachers trained in non-violent teaching methods
  • more than 30,000 schools directly involved in the campaign
  • collaboration between Plan and teachers’ unions in 20 countries, playing a key role in spreading campaign messages
  • 311,501 people who have attended awareness-raising sessions, helping to change beliefs and attitudes about violence towards children.

Huge global issue

Plan’s Chief Executive Officer Nigel Chapman said:

“The progress is very encouraging but school violence is still a huge global issue preventing many children from attending and completing their schooling. We must accelerate our efforts to ensure that governments and authorities are doing their best to make schools safe and productive environments.”

Changing lives

Feedback from children, teachers, parents and officials reveal how Plan’s campaign work has been changing lives.

One teacher at Michiru primary school in Malawi told the report’s authors: “I noticed a big difference in my pupils’ last-term results, their performance was very impressive. They felt more confident and secure about their education and they are conversant with their rights and responsibilities.”

View a short presentation of the report on Prezi

Download the full report

Help end violence in schools

Everyone benefits from reducing violence in schools

Everyone can play their part in reducing school violence

Research shows corporal punishment can cause children to feel suicidal

Children have the right to be safe at school

90 countries legally permit corporal punishment in schools

No country is immune from violence in schools

Violence in schools happens everywhere, every day

Violence in schools has devastating long-term consequences

All violence in schools is preventable

In Zambia one-third of 13-15 year-olds have been raped

Children who suffer family violence are more likely to be bullies

Friends like to make fun of me or look down on me. I feel that this is a form of violence without them hurting me physically. Teachers sometimes do the same thing and blame me in front of other children. I was humiliated.

Child, Thailand