ETUCE actively contributed to the closing event of the ENABLE2ACT project which took place on 21 and 22 September 2016 in Zagreb. The conference theme focused on the prevention of bullying and hate speech among youth.

ENABLE (European Network Against Bullying in Learning and Leisure Environments) is an EU-funded project which aims to tackle bullying with a whole-community approach, helping young people exercise their fundamental rights at home, in school, class and community. Under the lead of European Schoolnet, ENABLE uses a unique approach that combines social and emotional learning (SEL) with Peer Support, to provide school staff with the skills, knowledge and confidence that enables them to establish an effective student Peer Support scheme in their schools and develop their students’ social and emotional skills.

Since October 2014, ETUCE has been partner in the ENABLE-think tank, providing the education trade union perspective to the network. The project partners developed social and emotional learning skills as a means to building resilience in young people so that they can better understand and become more responsible and effective for their on- and offline social interactions. The conference was the culmination of diverse activities implemented through the ENABLE initiative over the past two years that aimed at empowering children and young people and their parents and teachers to overcome the negative impact of bullying and hate speech through social and emotional skill development.

This conference had three main objectives: 1) showcase the work of ENABLE, and trigger in-depth discussion on bullying, hate speech, citizenship and the importance of social and emotional skill development 2) build capacity in tackling harmful on- an offline interactions between children and young people by fostering the notion of rights, responsibilities and citizenship 3) explore new tools, ideas and initiatives, investigate new paths and draw up a set of guidelines for schools and families, and recommendations for policy-makers.

With its holistic method to reducing bullying through involving students, education staff and in particular parents/carers, ENABLE further underlines the approach promoted by ETUCE and its member organisations: The learning environment of students is the working environment of teachers and it is therefore important to focus not only on the safety of students, but also on the wellbeing of education staff. Prevention of violence in schools should take into account work-related psychosocial hazards and harassment of school staff, in order to facilitate an atmosphere where children can learn and teachers can perform their work in a positive, healthy and safe setting.

To learn more about the ENABLE project, click here.