06.11.2013 - Education Sector

The Netherlands contribute €500,000 in support of UNESCO’s work to Prevent and Address Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying

UNESCO - Signing ceremony

UNESCO, with the financial support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, is initiating a three-year project called “EDUCATION AND RESPECT FOR ALL: Preventing and Addressing Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying in Educational Institutions.”

The new project will build on the work that UNESCO has conducted since 2011 on homophobic bullying in education and other work on discrimination and violence in schools, including gender-based violence.

The main goal of the project is to strengthen education sector responses to homophobic and transphobic bullying worldwide, and to support a growing coalition of partners who share the belief that all bullying must be prevented and addressed, including that which is perpetrated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adolescents and young people and all those who are perceived as gender non-conforming.

The project will conclude in 2016 with an international high-level meeting of Ministers of Education. The aim of the meeting is to catalyze responses by member states to homophobic and transphobic bullying in educational institutions. To that end, it is envisaged that a policy statement will be developed and agreed upon. In addition, during the meeting, the first issue of a global report on the status of homophobic and transphobic violence in education will be launched. The report will review evidence gathered by the project on the scale and nature of the problem and take stock of progress made in the response.

On the road to 2016, the project will support activities in Asia-Pacific, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. An important mobilization and awareness-raising campaign will also be conducted at the global level. The proposed activities and their findings will create an evidence base that is currently missing and that will inform regional reports on effective responses, as well as national action plans designed to prevent and address homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Activities implemented in the context of this partnership will be linked to broader anti-bullying initiatives that UNESCO is currently leading such as the ‘Teaching Respect for All’ initiative, and to quality learning initiatives such as comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

The formal signing ceremony of the agreement with the Kingdom of the Netherlands  will take place during a side event of UNESCO’s 37th session of the General Conference held at UNESCO HQ (Room VII) on Thursday 7 November at 1 p.m. 

The event will be chaired by H.E Ms. Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands and Dr. Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education. 

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