Education International
Education International

IDAHO: Teacher unions committed to promoting inclusive and safe learning environments for all

published 16 May 2012 updated 21 May 2012

On 16th May, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, Education International reaffirms its commitment to promote inclusive and safe learning environments, free of harassment, bullying and homophobia or any other form of discrimination, in which all members of the school community are treated with respect and dignity.

EI acknowledges and supports the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navy Pillay, that “the right to freedom from discrimination and the right to live are universal and enshrined in international laws.’’ In her latest video message she said: “We know what needs to be done. States must repeal discriminatory law and ban discriminatory practices. Punish violence and hatred, not love, and all should challenge homophobia; the best antidote is education for children and adults alike to help them reach out to each other and learn to make the world safer and better for everyone.” Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-_kzl-_mrg

Schools and trade unions have an important role to play in challenging discrimination all over the world. EI member organizations are involved in activities and actions to promote the core messages of the IDAHO. In Canada CTF-FCE launched a new resource “Supporting Transgender and Transsexual students in K-12 Schools.” It is the fifth publication in an educational series designed to assist teachers, administrators and counsellors to support transgender and transsexual students. The CTF guide has received national and international acclaim and endorsements from the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, PFLAG Canada, Journal of LGBT Youth, academics and researchers. Download the publication here: http://www.ctf-fce.ca/catalogue/default.aspx?lang=EN

In Latin America, CNTE Brazil launched a campaign entitled "Education without homophobia". Find more details here: http://www.cnte.org.br/images/pdf/jornal_mural_maio_2012.pdf In Argentina, the teacher union CTERA fully supported the adoption of a progressive piece of legislation, the first ever gender identity law in the country.

In Europe, the European Region of EI, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) have endorsed a joint statement to affirm their commitment to strengthen their collaboration at national and European level to prevent and combat jointly homophobia and transphobia at school, in workplaces and in society.

EI continues to encourage and support initiatives promoting diversity, equality and respect throughout the world!