Children, who are powerful physically, emotionally and/or psychologically can mock, hit, blackmail and intimidate other children on a daily or a regular basis. Children, who are less powerful, more sensitive or different and uncommon in a way are being targeted by their peers and find themselves at a disadvantage. Daily life at schools and beyond is full of such examples.
Over the past decades, confronted with the harsh reality of bullying, the world academic and psychology community have been both investigating the phenomenon from different perspectives and suggesting ways to prevent and create mechanisms to address the problem. At the same time, it becomes increasingly evident that bullying is not only a school phenomenon, nor does it involve just students. Bullying also takes place beyond school, and involves children, parents, teachers and all competent actors alike, forming a clear social dimension for both the victim and the victimizer. Despite the significant scientific and social initiatives taken to address the issue, so far there has been no common European solution to the problem and its various aspects. The need for a collective and organized response to bullying on a European level gave birth to the idea of the project “EAN - European Antibullying Network”.
Acknowledging the importance of all actors involved in the field, “The Smile of the Child” took the initiative to implement the project in collaboration with key actors in anti-bullying from across Europe through funding from the European Programme Daphne III.
The main objective of EAN is the establishment of a European Anti-bullying Network that will contribute to the coordination of anti-bullying actions and developing a common strategy against the problem at European level.
Τhe partnership is comprised of 17 partners from 12 EU Member States. Once established, all Member States will be represented in the Network with the participation from all major players that form part of the everyday struggle to tackle the phenomenon.
The project has a total duration of 18 months. EAN will be completed in May 2014, when the inaugural conference celebrating the establishment of the European Anti-bullying Network will be held in Greece.
The project aims to achieve the following objectives:
- The establishment of the European Anti-bullying Network;
- The development of a common European strategy to tackle bullying;
- The implementation of European awareness campaigns on the need of establishment of a European Anti-bullying Day;
- The mapping and promotion of best practices for addressing the phenomenon with the aim of informing children, school communities and public authorities.
Teachers, parents and public services and entities are the main groups who will benefit from the project, as they will obtain useful tools and resources to support them in their fight against bullying. Children who have been victimized in the school or the wider social environment, as well as children and young people who are in some way involved in the phenomenon of bullying (either as victims, victimizers or observers) will indirectly benefit from the implementation of EAN project.