DCU to host next year's World Anti-Bullying Forum

The mayor of Dublin says the capital is taking steps to become a "bully-free city".

Mícheál MacDonncha made the prediction as it was confirmed this morning that Dublin City University will host next year's World Anti-Bullying Forum.

The organisers say teachers and young people will be able to attend the international event, and learn about the latest initiatives to tackle bullying.

Speaking at the launch, Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha, said: “The City of Dublin is delighted to host the World Anti-Bullying Forum in 2019 in partnership with DCU and the National Anti-Bullying Research & Resource Centre.

"We already know that the City of Dublin is one of the safest cities in the world and we are hoping that by hosting the WABF here in 2019 it will be another step towards making the Dublin a bully-free city.

"Much bullying behaviour relates to a lack of tolerance for difference Dublin is a city of many cultures, faiths and ways of life and so we hope that with so many experts coming from all over the world we will be able to learn more about how to promote tolerance of difference in our city.”

It is expected that over 700 practitioners, academics and anyone with an interest in understanding and tackling bullying will travel to the forum.

Internationally recognised experts will share knowledge and new perspectives on topics such as cyberbullying, diversity, sexting, online safety, and other forms of inhumane actions and violence among children and youth.

The forum was initiated by Friends International Center Against Bullying and the first forum was held in Stockholm last year when 550 delegates from 37 countries attended.

James O'Higgins Norman is director of the National Anti-Bullying Centre at DCU.

He thinks education can help create a bully-free environment.

"A lot of the time bullying can be related to a lack of understanding for diversity for example and sometimes some people feel uncomfortable with change and with difference and if you educate people around that the bullying and victimisation is reduced," said Mr O'Higgins Norman.

He says while online bullying is a problem, it usually starts offline.

"There is significant dangers there but I wouldn't say the most danger," Mr O'Higgins Norman explained.

"The vast majority of bullying is still face-to-face traditional fashioned bullying - we know that from our research.

"A lot of the time now that bullying behaviour will spill into online environments and sometimes what starts online will spill into the real world."

Digital desk

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