FFE Magazine

Sweden flexes muscle against bullying

by FFE EU News staff

Sweden has gone global on its anti-bullying cause with the opening of The Friends International Centre Against Bullying on Wednesday.

The opening at Friends Arena, a new sports stadium named after the centre, was attended by minister for Children and the Elderly Maria Larsson and Swedbank CEO Mikael Wolf.

Lars Arrhenius, secretary general of anti-bullying group Friends, said that the centre was primarily launched to address bullying at a global level. It will soon become a venue for international conferences that will train teachers and other stakeholders on ways to prevent bullying.

He declared that the centre will have the best knowledge and advice on bullying as it is cooperating with a variety of countries to advance its cause, including the US, Norway, Namibia and Botswana.

“We wanted to create a meeting place where foreign researchers and workers can come together and share research from different countries.”

Cyber bullying will be one of the focuses of the centre, the secretary general added. As bullies find new ways to torment victims, lawmakers and police should keep up with evolving technology.

The opening was timely as the country has been experiencing a series of high-profile bullying cases lately. “An important aspect on combating cyber bullying is to engage not just those who work in schools but parents, as bullying is something that follows kids from school to home.”

The centre, which was launched in collaboration with Stockholm University, will offer its services to Sweden’s preschools, schools and sports clubs.

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