UNESCO joins global fight against anti-gay bullying

Homophobic bullying is a 'significant' problem worldwide, according to new report by UN agency

UNESCO joins global fight against anti-gay bullying
18 June 2012

A new report by UNESCO has revealed the extent of homophobic bullying worldwide, recognizing the problem as a human rights issue.

The UN agency’s first ever international consultation on the issue brought together experts from NGOs, ministries of education and academia from more than 25 countries around the world.

The report states that, based on evidence collected, the scale of the problem is ‘significant’ and as a result students around the world are routinely denied the ‘basic, universal human right to education’.

It follows UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s statement that homophobic bullying is ‘a moral outrage, a grave violation of human rights and a public health crisis’.

Although UNESCO admits relatively few countries have collected data on homophobic bullying in educational institutions, the report shows the UK and US have among the highest levels of reported cases.

While in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and in Latin America, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender pupils are denied access to school and in the US students reported regularly missing classes because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.

In Argentina, transgender pupils reported that they stopped studying, either because of homophobic bullying by other learners or because they are denied entry by school authorities. Of those surveyed, 45% dropped out of secondary school and only 2.3 % completed college.

Data also revealed that seven in 10 lesbian, gay and bisexual learners in the UK who experienced homophobic bullying reported that this had a negative impact on their school work, with 50% of those affected missing school and 20% missing school more than six times.

According to research conducted by UK-based gay rights group Stonewall, homophobic bullying is the most common form of bullying in Britain.

Wes Streeting, head of education at UK-based gay rights group Stonewall, said: ‘The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights is right to recognize homophobic bullying as “a moral outrage” and “a grave violation of human rights” across the globe and we are delighted that Stonewall’s work in Britain has been recognized by this important UN study.

‘Our research, involving thousands of teachers and young people around Britain, consistently shows that homophobic bullying can seriously harm young people’s mental health and educational attainment.

‘That’s why we work so closely with schools and local authorities through our School and Education Champions programs to help them tackle and prevent it.’

On July 5, Stonewall will release its five-yearly School Report research into homophobia in Britain’s schools, which is based on a survey of over 1,600 lesbian, gay and bisexual young people across Britain.

The survey was carried out by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Family Research.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Top UK soccer club gives out free tickets to gay fans

York City FC will host a Football v Homophobia match
No thumbnail available

South Africa gay man stoned to death

A 24-year-old was discovered by a passerby in park, lying half naked surrounded by bloody rocks and stones
No thumbnail available

India state sets aside 2% housing quota for trans residents

Chhattisgarh will also pay for sex reassignment surgery
No thumbnail available

Wisconsin's gay marriage ban struck down by federal judge; state plans to appeal

Judge Barbara Crabb: 'This case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution'
No thumbnail available

Lupita Nyong’o attends and blesses friend’s gay wedding

Photos: Oscar-winner thanks couple 'for the reminder that love and its declaration can be simple'
No thumbnail available

France's Chief Rabbi says 'non' to gay marriage

France’s Chief Rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, has publicly stated today he opposes the country’s plans to introduce gay marriage and adoption rights
No thumbnail available

Outdoor lovers will fall for the deep caves, enchanting lakes, white peaks and white horses of Slovenia

From Lake Bled to Lipica, from the Skocjan caves to Medieval castles, Gay Star Travel explores the world away from the capital's buzzing life
No thumbnail available

Priest says Jesus 'probably gay'

Lesbian reverend Sharon Ferguson says some gay Christians will be 'disgusted' at suggestion that Jesus was homosexual
No thumbnail available

Seven quick ways to save the world on Earth Day 2013

In honor of Earth Day, GSN suggests some of the ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint
No thumbnail available

Greens accuse Australian Labor Party of ‘back room manipulation’ over gay marriage

Leader Christine Milne says Labor party are trying to get gay marriage off the agenda before the next election, bill in the Senate looks unlikely to pass