Beatbullying Unites Over A Million People Around The World For The First Global March For Children's Rights

01 March 2012

Today, Beatbullying will lead over one million people from all corners of the globe in The Big March 2012 - the world's first global virtual march for children's rights, to issue a call to the United Nations to protect young people from all forms of bullying and child on child violence.

With one in ten parents around the world confirming their child has been cyberbullied, Beatbullying is calling for bullying to be added to the UNCRC.

Marking a new chapter in campaigning and digital history, The Big March 2012 will begin in the UK at 8am as the avatars of supporters of the Big March 2012 leave the charity's homepage and march in real-time across UK and global partner websites. Partners include Disney, Facebook, Clarks, Universal Music, Robinson Fruitshoot, TalkTalk, Nominet Trust, PEAS (Africa), Parentline (Australia), World Child Cancer and GirlGuiding UK.

Supporters around the world marching today include hundreds and thousands of teachers, parents and students of all ages, schools and Universities including Plymouth, De Montfort and University College London. In addition thousands of organisations have joined Beatbullying’s fight for children’s rights - 20 per cent are UK-based while 80 per cent are global.  Well-known names such as Stephen Fry, Aston Merrygold, Pixie Lott, Alesha Dixon, Kathryn Jenkins, the full cast of Channel 4’s Hollyoaks and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will also march today.
With three quarters of world citizens saying cyber bullying needs special attention The Big March’s aims has united individuals across the world. Marchers come from over 190 countries, with significant numbers from the UK, Australia, Turkey, Brazil, United States and Greece in particular.

The digital march will end at a virtual representation of the UN Building in New York where the supporters will come together to ask that the following statement is enshrined within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

“The right of every child to be safe from bullying, violence and the fear of violence by their peers as well as from abuse by adults”

Beatbullying will also deliver an offline petition to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and if the charity’s bid is successful, it will be the first time that the Convention has been updated in over 10 years.

Governments and world leaders who have ratified the UNCRC are bound to it by international law and are therefore obliged to introduce and implement measures and legislation which serve to protect children. The addition of ‘bullying’ to the Convention will give weight and legitimacy to the demands of children, families, schools, and communities who want to build a world where bullying is unacceptable.

Emma-Jane Cross, CEO of Beatbullying, said:  

“This is people power at its best and we’re thankful to everyone who believes in standing up to bullying by joining with us on this decisive day.

“There is currently no reference to bullying or child-on-child violence in the UNCRC but the hundreds and thousands who have joined the March prove that bullying has a detrimental impact on so many young lives affecting self esteem, physical and mental health and education.  Every child deserves to life a happy and healthy life.

“The Big March 2012 gives the global community the chance to sign up and show their support by asking the United Nations to enshrine a child’s right to live free from bullying, harassment and abuse within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

“By approaching the UN, Beatbullying is taking its fight against bullying a step further – approaching the highest powers in the world! We have a child protection crisis on our hands, and today we will march together as global citizens, standing up and taking action.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu comments:

“Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in today’s society.  It is very sad to learn that bullying affects so many of our young people, some with catastrophic results.

“ I am thrilled to know that my involvement in Beatbullying’s The Big March 2012, the world’s first global march, will help promote positive change for the protection of young people against bullying across the world.“

Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, said:

“The internet is the single most powerful collaborative tool that we’ve ever had. The Big March is a powerful example of collaborative campaigning in action. Nominet Trust is proud to support this online demonstration mobilising people to take a stand against bullying.”

The Big March 2012, builds on the success of 2010’s award-winning campaign that saw parents, teachers, young people, celebrities and MPs sign up to support the UK campaign.  Beatbullying delivered a petition to a virtual 10 Downing Street, asking for the Government to protect children and young people from all forms of bullying and harassment. It resulted in an offline deputation with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, where Beatbullying delivered its recommendations.

-ENDS-

For more information, case studies, interview with a Beatbullying spokesperson or statistics please contact:

Frank PR – Siobhan Sleet and Sarah Kershaw |Beatbullying@frankpr.it  |0207 693 6999
Beatbullying - Sherry Adhami | sherry.adhami@beatbullying.org | 0781 400 4963

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Big March partners include:

TalkTalk, Facebook, The Sun, Universal, Disney, MTV, Orange, Stardoll – for full list visit of partners visit http://www.beatbullying.org/bigmarch/

Big March celebrity supporters include:

Aston Merrygold
Pixie Lott
Alesha Dixon
The Saturdays
Diversity
Jedward
Sir Michael Parkinson
Twiggy
Nicola Roberts
Alison Hammond
Joe Swash
Katherine Jenkins
Stephen Fry
Prof Tanya Byron
Louis Walsh
Joe Calzaghe
Jamie Rickers
Garry Robson
Dakota Blue Richards
Cerrie Burnell
Jade Thomson
Imogen Leaver
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Billie Faiers
Dynamo
Hollyoaks Cast
Gaynor Faye
Dani Harmer
Brooke Kinsella
Gabriella Ellis

About We’re Altogether Better
We’re Altogether Better is a brand new, digital-based, social action not-for-profit organisation. Developed by the team behind the award-winning charity Beatbullying, it was formed in January 2012 upon the acceptance of a £1.3m grant from the Social Action Fund.

We’re Altogether Better will scale up and develop Beatbullying’s independently proven digital support and volunteering programmes to increase social action, improve the reach and scale of support to the most vulnerable, and radically change how people can volunteer, using unique, innovative and inspirational volunteering opportunities.

Existing programmes within We’re Altogether Better include CyberMentors (which reduces bullying in schools by an average of 40% and exclusions by 31%), MiniMentors (which improves friendship and citizenship in primary school by 67%) and FutureYou (which moves over half its users into employment or education). These will continue to expand, and more programmes will be developed offering support to the most vulnerable in our society. The first of these new programmes, to launch later this year, will be an online mental health programme offering; online mentoring, counselling and psychotherapy, using Cosmo technology.

For more information go to; cybermentors.org.uk, www.minimentors.org.uk, www.thefutureyou.org.uk
www.werealtogetherbetter.org (full website in development) www.wearecosmo.com (full website in development) www.beatbullying.org

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (abbreviated as UNCRC, CRC or CROC) is the first legally binding international rights treaty to address the entire spectrum of human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political and social. It incorporates many of the basic human rights set out in the other five major human rights treaties, but in a way that recognises and provides for the specific needs, vulnerabilities and evolving capabilities of children and adolescents. (For the purposes of the Convention, a child is defined as anyone under18 years of age except where individual states recognise an earlier age of majority.)

The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child: http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/humanrights/resources/child.asp


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