Health Education and School-related Gender Based Violence

© Nithil Dennis

Educational institutions need to be safe for all students. Schools that are not safe or inclusive violate the right to education as enshrined in the UNCRC; and contravene the Convention against Discrimination in Education. Both in developed and developing countries, students who are perceived to be sexual/gender minorities face disproportionately higher levels of bullying.

The violence and bullying in schools act as major barriers to learning and deny a child's fundamental right to education in a safe environment. Furthermore, bullying leads to several negative consequences for victims, which include psychological consequences such as depression and anxiety, academic consequences in terms of lowered academic performance and school drop-out rates, and social consequences in terms of loneliness and lack of support.

In this context, UNESCO New Delhi Education Sector works with policymakers and officials of education and public health departments to provide adequate attention to sexual orientation or gender identity related bullying at schools. 

In addition, its key objectives include:

  • Supporting Member States to scale up comprehensive sexuality education;
  • Expanding programmes for young people from key populations at higher risk of HIV exposure;
  • Preventing and responding to school-based stigma, discrimination and gender-based violence; and
  • Establishing and enforcing policies and laws that enable young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health related information and services.




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