LGBTI groups in South Korea are calling on the government to have LGBTI content added to sex education in schools.
The Department of Education currently has a sex education policy which preventions any mention of sexual minorities.
LGBTI advocates have labelled the policy as discriminatory.
Korea’s education ministry announced it would exclude LGBTI issues in sex education blaming anti-LGBTI sentiment in the country.
‘The education ministry should discard the sex education guidelines which only promote discrimination and prejudice against sexual minorities and should opt to give LGBT-inclusive education,’ a group of LGBTI advocates said in a press conference.
‘The education ministry’s sex education guidelines are a regression excluding sexual minorities and solidifying gender roles,’ said Park Hyun-yi, an activist at Seoul Youth Sex Culture Center.
‘The guidelines that do not even mention ‘masturbation’ or ‘sexual minority’ are stifling sex education.’
In the face of the backlash, the Education Ministry said that guidelines are only to help teachers with giving their students sex education and that teachers can educate their students about homosexuality at their own discretion.
Last year Korea’s education ministry released a 40-page guideline for schools which drew criticism for reinforcing gender roles and promoting abstinence from sex.
One of the guidelines which caused a lot of controversy recommend girls should not be alone with their boyfriends in order to avoid sexual violence.
Things are rough for Korean LGBTI youth
Same-sex activity is illegal in Korea and LGBTI people face many legal discriminations.
A 2015 survey revealed one in five LGBT youth between the ages of 13 to 18 had attempted suicide.
The survey also showed seven out of 11 LGBT youth quit school because of discrimination, isolation and fear.
Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said conditions for LGBTI people in his home country were an ‘outrage’.
‘Even in societies where homosexuality or atypical gender identity are not criminalized, they often remain sensitive issues, in particular in relation to young people and education,’ he said.
‘This is the case in my home country of the Republic of Korea, where homosexuality is largely taboo.
‘In the Republic of Korea and around the world, let us make schools safer for all young people, including the LGBT members of our human family.
‘The abuses and indignity suffered by members of the LGBT community are an outrage – an affront to the values of the United Nations and to the very idea of universal human rights.’