June 11 set for bullying awareness project

Anti-bullying campaign launched as research reveals Europeans feel their governments are not doing enough

FEBRUARY 20 — More than seven in 10 European citizens believe their government is not doing enough to tackle bullying in schools, and even more believe not enough is being done to tackle cyberbullying, research from BeatBullying, Europe’s largest anti-bullying NGO, reveals today. The research comes as BeatBullying teams up with the #DeleteCyberbullying project to launch Europe’s biggest anti-bullying campaign – The Big March.

The innovative digital protest is calling on the European Commission to introduce new law to protect European children from bullying and cyberbullying, and will see avatars created by millions of European children, parents, teachers and celebrities march across websites on June 11 2014.

Part of the DeleteCyberbullying campaign, The Big March is an alliance of major European brands and NGOs, including  Disney, Moshi Monsters, Stardoll, the Safer Internet Network, European Youth Forum, Erasmus Student Network, among hundreds of others.

The campaign is also supported by a number of European celebrities, including the UK X-Factor winners, Little Mix, German heartthrob, Jimi Blue, Germany’s Next Top Model winner, Barbara Meier and Belgian popstar, Ian Thomas.

The Big March calls on the European Commission to:

– Introduce new laws to protect the right of European children to live without fear of bullying and cyberbullying.

– Ring fence €77 million for services that prevent and protect European children from bullying and cyberbullying.

– Champion an annual awareness day to promote the anti-bullying movement across Europe.

Today’s research represents preliminary results from BeatBullying’s European survey on bullying. BeatBullying is calling on European citizens to contribute to the research, and show their support for bullied young people across Europe, by signing up for The Big March. To march alongside The Big March supporters, log on to bigmarch.beatbullying.org.

Emma-Jane Cross, CEO of BeatBullying said: “Early results from our pan-European survey tell us that the citizens of Europe want more to be done to tackle bullying and cyberbullying. It is clear that bullying is a Europe-wide issue, for which we need a Europe-wide solution.

“The Big March gives everyone the opportunity to take part in this debate, and put pressure on European governments and institutions to take decisive action to support the 25 million children across Europe whose lives are being ruined by bullying.

“We urge the citizens of Europe, schools and NGOs and companies alike to join The Big March, and help change young lives forever”.

BeatBullying is an international bullying prevention charity working and campaigning to make bullying unacceptable, on the ground in the UK and Europe. The group believes that no one should endure the pain, fear or isolation of being bullied, and that everyone has the right to be safe from bullying, violence and harassment.

The NGO trains young people, aged 5-25, in schools, colleges and communities, to become BB Mentors, giving them the knowledge and tools they need to tackle and prevent bullying. They then support and mentor other children, in school and online. Specialist adult advisers and qualified counselors are also online to provide expert advice and counseling support.

It raises awareness of bullying in all its forms, and work to shape public policy to protect children and young people. We campaign for real change that will protect children at home, in the playground and in their communities, at a local, national and international level.

COFACE as the Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union, brings together a large number of civil society organizations with the aim of giving a voice to all families and representing the issues most important to them at the European level.

For more information go to: http://www.coface-eu.org/

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