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Tuesday, 28 June 2011 17:59

Human Rights Commission moves to tackle cyber bullying


The Australian Human Rights Commission is partnering with the Child Health Promotion Research Centre at Edith Cowan University, and marketing communications and public relations company, Primary Communication to develop a campaign designed to help young people take safe and effective action when they witness cyber bullying.

"The role of the bystander, in standing up against bullying and harassment can be an incredibly important and powerful one," said Commission president Catherine Branson. "This partnership announcement marks the beginning of what we hope will be a major force in countering the adverse impacts and often irreparable damage caused by cyber bullying."

The initiative follows the recent release of the Joint-Select Committee on Cyber Safety's report 'High Wire Act: Cyber Safety and the Young' which made a range of recommendations to tackle cyber bullying and which, according to the AHRC, "identifed the important role that bystanders can have in intervening safely when they witness cyber bullying."

The Child Health Promotion Research Centre, led by professor Donna Cross, undertook the world's first study into strategies being used by schools, families and students to combat the effects of cyber bullying. It also undertook research into covert bullying which has informed the cyber bullying elements of the revised National Safe Schools Framework.

Professor Cross said the project would provide "important opportunities for young people to inform the content, design and platform in which to promote positive bystander actions." Primary Communication will provide expertise in social marketing campaigns in mental health and education.

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