EI issued a statement today on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia taking place on 17 May, highlighting its endorsement of the United Nations' statement on sexual identity and orientation.
The UN statement on "Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" was endorsed by 66 member states in December 2008.
EI reaffirms the principle of non-discrimination and call all education unions to "take concrete actions to prevent all forms of discrimination, including but not limited to sexism, homophobia, transphobia and intolerance, within unions, at work and in the education sector".
An international appeal has also been launched by several international organisations on transphobia. Entitled "Reject Transphobia, Respect Gender Identity", the appeal aims to fight discriminations against Trans people at the global level.
EI believes that education and qualified teachers play an important role in enabling society to create schools environment where every student can learn. On this day, EI invites all member organisations to read, endorse and distribute the appeal.
Below is the full text of the EI's statement, in English. Please click on the link below to download the appeal in pdf format.
May 17: International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia
To promote the rights of all citizens to live freely their preferred gender and sexual orientation, EI endorsed an international appeal to UN agencies and Head of States.
Prejudice and myths are built upon ignorance. Education has a crucial role in ensuring equality of opportunity for all, independent of race, ethnicity, economic status, language, religion, social origin, sexual orientation and gender identity.
On the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, EI reaffirms the principle of non discrimination and call all education unions to take concrete actions to prevent all forms of discrimination, including but not limited to sexism, homophobia, transphobia and intolerance, within unions, at work and in the education sector.
The victims of bullying and discrimination, including based on sexual identity and orientation, are more likely to leave job or move to another school. Reports and studies show that students victims of harassment or homophobic bullying are more like to drop out of school. Legal protection against harassment and/or discrimination based on the sexual orientation in educational settings is receiving more attention.
The cases related to discrimination based on gender identity and orientation i are under-reported. Additionally there are countries that criminalise homosexuality. Others prohibit or limit the discussion and recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families in schools.
In 2008, EI welcomed the UN statement on “Human Rights, Sexual orientation and Gender Identity” endorsed by 66 member states, from all regions ii. The statement condemns human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity wherever they occur.
EI believes that education and qualified teachers play an important role in enabling society to create schools environment where every student can learn. On the International Day against Homophobia, EI invites all its affiliates to read, endorse and distribute the appeal to the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the Heads of States.
If your union wants to take action, get in touch with: [email protected]
Note: [i] Transgender people are those who do not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. [ii] UN General Assembly Sixty-third session, Agenda item 64 (b), document A/63/635, December 22, 2008