World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Over Half Of LGBTQI Students In Europe Bullied In School: UNESCO

More than one in two LGBTQI students in Europe have suffered bullying based on their sexuality, the UN educational, cultural and scientific body (UNESCO) said on Monday, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia.

In a survey of more than 17,000 youngsters aged 13 to 24, 54 per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people said that they had been bullied at least once, based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Backlash

“Everyone says you can be whoever you want, you can be free, you can express yourself at school…then if you try to be different, you get backlash”, said one 19-year-old student participating in the survey.

The study highlighted widespread discriminatory attitudes, with 83 per cent of students reporting that they had heard negative comments about LGBTQI students, while 67 per cent said that they had been the target of critical comments at least once.

Further findings from UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report indicated that nearly six in 10 students “never reported bullying incidents to any school staff” and fewer than two in 10 did so systematically.

“Many teachers lack the confidence and knowledge to support LGBTQI learners”, the report said, noting that action by teachers and other academic staff in response to negative remarks and bullying were “vital” to an inclusive education system.

More than words

“Education is about more than just maths and words”, said Manos Antoninis, who directed the report. “Schools have to be inclusive if we want society to be inclusive. If children are being taught that only a certain type of person is accepted, that is going to affect the way they behave towards others”.

‘Unsafe and unwelcome’

In a call for action to tackle the global problem, report co-author, the International LGBTQI Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO), said that although many countries had adopted a more inclusive approach to all students, “many LGBTQI students still feel unsafe and unwelcome in school”.

There remained “a real fear that the isolation and permanent shift to online interactions this past year will have turned the dial up on bullying and marginalisation as well”, said Jonathan Beger, Interim Executive Director of IGLYO.

Echoing concerns for LGBTQI individuals, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay warned about the increasing risks they face, as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continue.

“Younger people in particular, because of the persistence of prejudice in their family or social environment, are sometimes threatened with being driven out of their homes and finding themselves in distress or destitution”, Ms. Azoulay said. “Furthermore, as the work of voluntary organizations is more complex, LGBTI people are likely to lack contacts and trusted people to talk to.”

Abuse at home

Refugee members of the LGBTQI community also face particular risks, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said, noting that same-sex relationships remain illegal in more than 70 countries.

In a call for an end to the daily abuse and indignity faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi also warned that in six countries, couples of the same gender face the death sentence.

He urged countries “to keep their doors open to LGBTIQ+” people in need of refuge, and added that for many, the discrimination starts at home.

This was the case for the UNHCR’s first trans advocate, Bianka Rodriguez from El Salvador.

Ms. Rodriguez was “held at gunpoint, abused by her own mother and bullied out of school because she was trans”, the High Commissioner explained.

She now works to ensure fair laws for people who are harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in her country – and she will continue “to protect and advocate for LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced people around the world” – Mr. Grandi said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN News: Landmark G7 Agreement Pledges 870 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Half By End-2021

A senior UN official welcomed on Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations’ commitment to immediately share at least 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting global access and helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic... More>>



OECD: G20 GDP Returns To Pre-pandemic Level In The First Quarter Of 2021, But With Large Differences Across Countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area returned to pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, growing by 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this figure conceals large differences across countries... More>>

Myanmar: ‘Mass Deaths’ Alert As 100,000 Flee Junta’s Heavy Weapons

In Myanmar, international action is needed urgently to prevent “mass deaths” there, after civilians fled attacks by so-called “junta bombs”, a top independent UN rights expert has warned... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


COP26: Progress Made As May-June UN Climate Change Session Closes

The May-June Climate Change Session, the first to have been held virtually to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held at the end of the year in Glasgow, Scotland, closed today... More>>

UNFCCC: Halving Emissions By 2030 Is New Normal - Race To Zero Anniversary
Over 4,500 non-state actors from across the global economy have committed to halving emissions by 2030, joining the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign... More>>


UN: Tackling Biodiversity & Climate Crises Together And Their Combined Social Impacts

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world... More>>