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Learn Without Fear

Plan works with children, parents and teachers worldwide to help children learn without fear

Up to 1.5 billion children experience violence every year, many within school walls. Three of the most common and damaging forms of violence in schools are bullying, corporal punishment and sexual violence.

Plan International works in collaboration with children, parents, teachers and partners around the world to ensure every child has a safe school environment.

School-related violence undermines the power of education to unlock children’s full potential. When we fail to take action to protect all schoolchildren from violence, we violate children’s right to education in safe and supportive schools, and compromise their development and well-being.

Violence and education

Surveys show that between one-fifth (China) and two-thirds (Zambia) of children reported being victims of verbal or physical bullying*.  Children who are bullied are 5 times more likely to be depressed than their peers and bullied girls are 8 times more likely to be suicidal.

Millions more children live in fear of being physically abused under the guise of discipline; more than 80% of students in some countries suffer corporal punishment at school*.

Corporal punishment, at its extreme, can lead to physical injury and even death. In the short term, corporal punishment is linked to poor learning outcomes and increased absenteeism.

Gender-based violence

Girls are especially vulnerable to rape, exploitation, coercion and discrimination by students and teachers. Worldwide, 62 million girls are missing out on an education. One of the major barriers they face is gender-based violence - sexual, physical and psychological.

A major focus of Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign is overcoming the barriers to girls’ successful completion of a quality education.

Cruel and humiliating forms of psychological punishment, gender-based violence and bullying remain a daily reality for millions of children.

Join Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign

Read Plan's campaign, child protection and education publications.

*Facts from Plan's A girl's right to learn without fear report

Case studies

Learn Without Fear: Three years on

Learn Without Fear: Three years on

Three years after the launch of Plan's global campaign against violence in schools, new laws and policies are in place to protect 485 million children from abuse.

Learn Without Fear cartoon

Learn Without Fear cartoon

This unique animation was developed with the help of children living in communities where Plan works. It makes viewers think about what they would do when faced with school violence.