Kandersteg Declaration Against Bullying in Children and Youth

We the participants at the Joint Efforts Against Victimization Conference in Kandersteg in June 8th to 10th, 2007 pledge our long term commitment and determination to promote healthy relationships and prevent bullying and victimization in children and youth.

Considerations

  • Today, an estimated 200 million children and youth around the world are being abused by their peers.
  • Every child and youth has the right to be respected and safe. Bullying is a violation of this basic human right.
  • It is the moral responsibility of adults to ensure these rights are honored and that healthy development and citizenship are promoted. Many adults want more understanding and strategies to address bullying problems effectively.
  • Bullying is a form of aggression, involving the abuse of power in relationships. It is recognized globally as a complex and serious problem. It has many faces, including the use of emerging technologies, and varies by age, gender, and culture.
  • Children and youth involved in bullying suffer. Bullying and victimization problems begin early in life and for some last a lifetime.
  • Many risk and protective factors associated with bullying are known and prevention programs are being implemented in several countries with encouraging results.
  • The mental and physical health, social, and academic consequences of bullying have an enormous impact on human and social capital. The costs of bullying burden our education, health care, social services, and criminal justice systems, as well as work force productivity and innovation.
  • Bullying concerns and affects us all.

Actions to be taken

  • Stop bullying now in all the places where children and youth live, work, and play.
  • Start prevention efforts early and continue these through childhood and adolescence, targeting known risk and protective factors and promoting healthy relationships.
  • Educate and empower all adults involved with children and youth to promote healthy relationships and prevent bullying.
  • Use policy and prevention programs, based on scientific research, that are appropriate for age, gender, and culture, and that involve families, peers, schools, and communities.
  • Provide ongoing assessment and monitoring necessary to evaluate the success of policy and programs and to guarantee the rights of children and youth.

Kandersteg, Switzerland, June 10, 2007

Almeida, Ana Maria University of Minho, Portugal anatalmeida@gmail.com
Alsaker, Françoise D. University of Berne, Switzerland francoise.alsaker@psy.unibe.ch
Boivin, Michel University of Laval, Canada michel.boivin@psy.ulaval.ca
Brendgen, Mara University of Québec, Canada brendgen.mara@uquam.ca
Clémence, Alain University of Lausanne, Switzerland alain.clemence@unil.ch
Craig, Wendy Queen’s University, Canada craigw@post.queensu.ca
Cross, Donna Edith Cowan University, Australia d.cross@ecu.edu.au
Flammer, August University of Berne, Switzerland august.flammer@psy.unibe.ch
Gutzwiller, Evelyne University of Lucerne, Switzerland eveline.gutzwiller@phz.ch
Hymel, Shelley University of British Columbia, Canada shelley.hymel@ubc.ca
Kwak, Keumjoo Seoul National University, South Korea kjkwak@snu.ac.kr
Ladd, Gary Arizona State University, USA gary.ladd@asu.edu
Lauper, Dorothee University of Berne, Switzerland dorothee.lauper@psy.unibe.ch
Menesini, Ersilia University of Florence, Italy menesini@psico.unifi.it
Nägele, Christof Federal Institute of Vocational Training, Switzerland christof.naegele@ehb-schweiz.ch
Ortega Ruiz, Rosario University of Cordoba, Spain ed1orrur@uco.es
Pepler, Debra York University, Canada pepler@yorku.ca
Perren, Sonja University of Zurich, Switzerland perren@jacobscenter.unizh.ch
Roland, Erling University of Stavanger, Norway erling.roland@uis.no
Salmivalli, Christina University of Turku, Finland tiina.salmivalli@utu.fi
Smith, Peter University of London, UK pss01pks@gold.ac.uk
Spiel, Christiane University of Vienna, Austria christiane.spiel@univie.ac.at
Strohmeier, Dagmar University of Vienna, Austria dagmar.strohmeier@univie.ac.at
Vaillancourt, Tracy McMaster University, Canada vaillat@mcmaster.ca
Valkanover, Stefan University of Berne, Switzerland Stefan.valkanover@ispw.unibe.ch
Veenstra, René University of Groningen, Netherlands d.r.veenstra@rug.nl

We kindly ask our ESDP members and any other persons who feel committed to this important issue to translate this declaration into their national languages and send the translated version to

Françoise D. Alsaker

University of Berne, Switzerland

francoise.alsaker@psy.unibe.ch