This proposal requires all primary or secondary educational institutions to provide a physical education curriculum that stresses and has students engage in various sport and general physical fitness activities. It also requires that they deliver "practical lessons" on "basic unarmed self-defence", conflict de-escalation, preventing "small-scale" conflict situations, and escaping life-threatening situations. Lastly, it suggests delivering "practical lessons" on "more advanced" forms of self-defence.
The proposal seems derived from good intentions and a desire to stop individuals from being victimised if they are unaware of proper self-defence techniques. Yet, the proposal attempts to impose a one-size fits all policy on all the many cultures in member nations: cultures that differ greatly in what is considered acceptable self-defence.
It also fails to account for the fact that using force, even defensively, may not be compatible with everyone: many people are unwilling or unable to use force, even defensively. Forcing them to participate in self-defence classes would be counterproductive and would not help them in threatening situations.
The last clause of the proposal also seems to want member nations to teach school children how to use arms. In places without robust mental health programmes, providing the means for violence is unwise. The harms are compounded with children, who are unable to fully understand the long-term impacts of using force or the specific situations in which using force is allowed.
For the above reasons, the Ministry of World Assembly Affairs recommends a vote against "Self-Defence Education Compact".
This IFV Recommendation was written in collaboration with our World Assembly Legislative League partners.
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