The International Observatory of Violence in School - IOVS
The international federation of researchers on violence in schools began in 1998, an initiative of the European Observatory of School Violence.
For more than thirty years, the production of national and international studies concerning millions of children and youths, involving a broad and diverse scientific methods, have increased. The globalization of the problem has been shown by empirical data collected within the fields of juvenile delinquency, school bullying, or the deterioration of the school climate in bond with the minor micro- violence and victimizations, repeatedly. A strong minority of children, particularly in the areas of social exclusion, in the North as in the South, are most exposed to the risks of violence in school.
This violence has major outcomes for individuals and society as a whole. Beyond the physical risks sometimes incurred by pupils and school staff, we know that the psychological risks are very significant: they include depression, dropping out of school, absenteeism through fear of the school and more disturbing outcomes, such as, suicide attempts.
The world conferences and the bonds established among researchers showed the importance and the urgency of the problem. This issue should be better understood in order to improve our capacity to prevent and face the problem. In order to know its prevalence, it is necessary to avoid the moral panic of the media with its excessive simplification of the issue, as well as avoid the politically correct denial of the issue, which is too often the rule. Also, the follow-up of public policies is insufficient and, often, it is not very effective. For instance, public policies for training professionals. The International Observatory of Violence in Schools is an independent NGO, informing public opinion of major research and practice on the issue as well as decision-makers, stakeholders and educators. The International Observatory seeks to privilege the North-South dialogue, in order to better know and spread good practices and practical exchanges for countries that do not have an easy access to the scientific community, but are, however, developing important intervention programmes.
Many international meetings were organized since our creation, and, in particular, the first world conference « Violence in Schools and Public Policies », in 2001, in Paris. The first conference notably widened the network of researchers and the second world conference was co-organized by the Centre de Recherche et d’Intervention sur la Réussite Scolaire (CRIRES), in 2003-Quebec, when the Canadian network for the Prevention of Violence in Schools was created. These conferences were followed by a third one in Bordeaux (2006), a fourth conference in Lisboa (Portugal) and then in Mendoza (Argentina). An international journal was created « The International Journal of Violence and Schools ». This scientific journal is peer reviewed and is acknowledged by the French scientific community and Ministry of Research and Higher Education as a valuable contribution. The volume of new research and publications is growing and the bonds among the network are becoming even stronger. Thus, this federation is no longer European but has surpassed the European territory. This is why it was decided to create an International Observatory of Violence in Schools, the European Observatory remains as a branch of the International one. We are proud to have among our partners countries from Latin America (Argentina, Colombia, Mexico etc.), Australia, Japan, Africa (Burkina Fasso, Mali, Senegal). Recently, the International Observatory of Violence in Schools moved from the University of Bordeaux to the University of Nice, following the election of Pr. Catherine Blaya as Chair and Pr. Rosario Ortega Ruiz as Vice-Chair.