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Anti-violence plan hits home

Three years after the children's charity Plan International launched its global campaign against violence in schools, new laws and policies are in place to protect 485 million children from corporal punishment, sexual violence and bullying, it claimed this week.

But its third progress report on the Learn Without Fear campaign says violence in schools is still widespread - 79 countries still allow teachers to mete out physical punishment to pupils.

"Violence in schools affects millions of children, physically and psychologically, while communities and economies suffer financially from the subsequent non-attendance, dropping out and poor attainment," said a spokesman for Plan.

The charity's achievements worldwide so far include:

- nearly 53,000 teachers trained in non-violent teaching methods;

- more than 30,000 schools directly involved in the campaign;

- collaboration between Plan and teachers' unions in 20 countries;

- 311,501 people have attended awareness-raising sessions, helping to change beliefs and attitudes about violence towards children.

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