The Council of Europe’s report on violence at schools based on sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics was released on 13 December. The report, Safe at school: Education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics in Europe, was prepared in partnership with UNESCO and offers recommendations to European states on how to ensure that all children can enjoy their right to education in a safe learning environment.
The report finds that violence at schools based on sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics (SOGIEC-based violence) occurs everywhere in Europe and is acutely underreported. The report also reveals that efforts of the European education authorities to address the problem must be stepped up in order to create a safe environment for children and prevent negative impact on students’ health and academic achievements.
Up to now, full comprehensive responses have been found in six member States of the Council of Europe: Belgium (regionally), Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Despite positive developments in the last decade, education sector responses to this type of violence in the education sector are still lacking entirely in around ¼ of all Member States.
This publication builds on the Out in the Open Report produced by UNESCO in 2016, which provided the first global overview of the nature, scope, and impact of, homophobic and transphobic violence in schools, and education sector responses.