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IS BULLYING A BREACH OF HUMAN RIGHTS?

Bullying is repeated, aggressive behaviour that is intended to hurt another person physically, mentally or emotionally. One in four Australian children will experience bullying at school.  Bullying can also arise in an adult context, especially in situations of differential power, such as with a boss and an employee, or within families.

There is no specific right not to be bullied, but bullying is still a breach of human rights. It contravenes children’s rights that are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. For example, it affects a child’s right to be protected from all forms of physical and mental violence. Bullying can also have severe and detrimental impacts on a child’s physical and psychological wellbeing.  In an adult context, bullying also affects the victim’s right to the highest ascertainable standard of health, as well as the right to security of the person.

 

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