On May 18, 2016, Education Ministers affirmed the need to address homophobic and transphobic violence in educational settings by signing a Call for Action at the International Ministerial Meeting on Education Sector Responses to Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression, held on May 17-18 at UNESCO in Paris.
The meeting drew together Ministers and representatives from government, civil society, UN agencies and other multi-lateral agencies, with a total of 67 countries represented.
As of June 30, a total of 32 countries have supported the Call for Action: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Cabo Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America and Uruguay. Other countries are invited to affirm their support for the Call for Action before the end of July.
On May 17, 2016, the first day of the Ministerial Meeting, UNESCO releasedthe global report Out in the Open, which found that a significant percentage of students who are, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI), experience homophobic and transphobic violence in school. According to studies reviewed for the report, it ranges from 55 percent in Thailand, to 68 percent in Europe and 85 percent in the United States. The UNESCO report finds that violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression is more likely to happen in school than at home or in the community.
Students who are subjected to this type of violence are more likely to miss class, skip school, avoid school activities, perform poorer academically or even drop out of school. In Argentina, 45 percent of transgender students dropped out of school due to bullying and exclusion, while LGBT students in Australia, China, Denmark, El Salvador, Italy, and Poland, reported lower academic achievement due to violence.
The report calls for a comprehensive, whole school response to end homophobic and transphobic violence in educational settings.
For more information see the website in English