COVID 19 has heightened a pre-existing child’s right crisis. Not only has the global pandemic made much more acute the learning crisis for millions of children by forcing to close schools in almost all countries, moving learning online and accelerating its digitization, but it has also made millions of girls and boys more vulnerable to violence – at home, in the community, or online. The global pandemic has highlighted the key role that schools and education systems play to protect children from violence. It has also shown that learning and safety cannot be thought through separately, as no girl or boy can learn if they feel threatened or are abused - independently from where the learning takes place. This intrinsic link makes it even more critical to embed violence prevention in Education systems and ensure all schools reopening plans include safe learning environments for all, including the most vulnerable girls and boys, as a key priority. In this context and building on the unique strengths of its partners to respond to the world’s most pressing challenge to protect children and safeguard their future, the Safe to Learn Global Initiative has developed a 3-year strategy (2021-2024). The new STL strategy aims to disrupt ‘business as usual’ and proposes to: 1) Build on STL partners’ respective strengths to develop an ecosystem for at-scale change based on clear methodologies for collective action at the global, regional and country levels. 2) Focus on an in-depth understanding of both education and violence prevention/response evidence and practice to maximize synergies and improve what already exists for increased and safer learning outcomes for all girls and boys in all their diversity. 3) Look for entry points to go to scale in different contexts, working with and through Governments and key stakeholders for sustainable, owned change.
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