Before we can talk about the institutions and organizations involved with (tackling) bullying and how they’ve changed over the years, we need to look at what bullying is and how the situation in various countries is. This blogpost will discuss the current situation in Belgium. For this I will use an international report by Unicef and a national study published by Klasse.
In 2011 Unicef published a report about the well-being of children in 29 European countries and the United States (UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 11). A section of this report discussed the subject of bullying. In Belgium, 4 out of 10 children aged 11, 13 and 15 were bullied at least once in the previous year. Only seven countries preformed worse according to the report. Plus, the bullying has gotten worse in the last ten years, while most countries have improved their numbers. Counties like Finland and the Netherlands for example did this by investing in prevention and going for a more structural approach.
When we look at the graph we can see that in Denmark there has been a great decrease of bullying. A decrease can also be seen in The United States.
To make sure they could compare the data over these different countries, Unicef gave all the children their definition of bullying, so that every respondent had the same concept in their mind while answering the questions. The definition Unicef used was: “We say a student is being bullied when another student, or a group of students, say or do nasty and unpleasant things to him or her. It is also bullying when a student is teased repeatedly in a way he or she does not like or when he or she is deliberately left out of things. But it is not bullying when two students of about the same strength or power argue or fight. It is also not bullying when a student is teased in a friendly and playful way.” (Unicef Innocenti Report Card 11, p.27)
Another source that talks about the percentage children being bullied in Belgium is Klasse. Klasse is a is een multimedia communicationplatform that tries to connect teachers, students and parents. The result of a survey they did, was that 50% of the asked children said to be bullied at least once in a while. One out of seven said to be a bully as well as a victim of bullying and one out of three wanted more involvement from the schools.
With these two reports it becomes very clear that bullying is very serious problem in Belgium and that it need immediate solutions.
United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund. (2013). Child well-being in rich countries: A comparative overview (UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 11). Florence, Italy: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
Het pestonderzoek van klasse: de resultaten. (2014). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from http://www.klasse.be/ouders/37418/het-pestonderzoek-van-klasse-de-resultaten/
Pesten: slechte punten voor Belgie. (2013). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from http://www.klasse.be/ouders/34050/pesten-slechte-punten-voor-belgie/
Wat is klasse? Retrieved May 28, 2015, from http://www.klasse.be/watisklasse/