Out In The Open, UNESCO takes on school-related homophobic and transphobic violence

Ministers from across the world will join leaders from civil society and multi-lateral agencies to address school-related homophobic and transphobic violence at an International Ministerial Meeting hosted by UNESCO on 17-18 May.

The Out In The Open event marks the first time Ministers will come together to issue a Call for Action and discuss new recommendations for education sectors to effectively respond to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in educational settings.

The recommendations form part of the first UN Global Report on the nature, scope and impact of this type of violence, to be released by UNESCO on 17 May. According to the report, up to 85% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, in some countries, experience violence, including bullying, at school, while students who are not LGBT, but are perceived not to conform to gender norms are also targets.

Courses of action to ensure the right to quality education for each and every student are included in the report. With comprehensive education sector responses in place, involving effective policies, relevant curricula and training materials, training and support for staff, and support for students, families and communities, education sectors can effectively respond.

Preventing and addressing homophobic and transphobic violence in educational settings are part of: a) UNESCO’s mandate to ensure learning environments are safe, inclusive and supportive for all, and: b) UNESCO’s contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The International Ministerial Meeting will consist of the launch of the first UN Global Report on the subject, entitled Out in the Open – supported by videos and infographics, the presentation of a Call for Action by Ministers, and panel discussions with Education Ministers and civil society leaders. Plenary sessions and thematic sessions will focus on emerging data and trends in homophobic and transphobic violence, the elements of comprehensive education sector responses, and the specific needs of transgender students.

Approximately 250 participants will be in attendance, including Ministers and other government officials from more than 20 countries; and representatives from civil society organisations, UN agencies, and other multi-lateral organisations.

Key Media Opportunities:

Tuesday 17 May

13:00-15:15 Plenary Session 1 – Launch of the Global Report on education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (Room XI)

Wednesday 18 May

13:30-14:00 Plenary Session 4 – Presentation of the “Call for Action by Ministers” and Affirmation ceremony (Room XI)

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Media Accreditation: Laetitia Kaci, +33 1 45 68 17 72 / l.kaci@unesco.org

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