The Second World Congress of Education International, meeting in Washington D.C., U.S.A., from 25 to 29 July 1998: 1. Recalls that Article 2(h) of the Constitution of Education International states as one of its aims: "to combat all forms of racism and bias or discrimination in education and society due to gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, religion, political opinion, social or economic status or national or ethnic origin"; 2. Notes that the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action following the UN Conference on Human Rights declares that: human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings; their protection and promotion is the first responsibility of Governments; 3. Acknowledges the Vienna Declaration which further states: All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms; 4. Observes and denounces the fact that lesbian and gay teachers face discrimination and harassment, including violence and abuse, as a result of their sexual orientation. The Congress recommends that EI and its member organisations 5. defend the human rights of all teachers and students; 6. clearly state that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of human rights; 7. urge governments at the intergovernmental level to include in conventions, declarations and statements dealing with human rights, that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of human rights; 8. promote education against prejudice, discrimination and harassment, including on the grounds of sexual orientation, as an essential part of every teacher’s role; 9. lobby their governments to introduce anti-discrimination legislation and equal treatment policies that address the rights of teachers and pupils on the grounds of sexual orientation; 10. have anti-discrimination and equal opportunities policies on the grounds of sexual orientation in their internal procedures and organisation; 11. support the right of teachers not to hide their sexual orientation in the workplace; 12. document cases of discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation in the education sector. Such cases will include denial of promotion, dismissal, unwarranted transfer, unequal treatment in labour conditions and harassment or violence against lesbian and gay teachers or education workers.