In this section you can find out how ILGA-Europe is working against discrimination and exclusion of LGBTI people in education environments.
Education and LGBTI people?
Episodes of homophobic bullying, abuse and discrimination of LGBTI people across Europe occur on a regular basis in various educational settings. Consequently a large number of LGBTI people experience the estrangement from family networks, the sense of isolation, invisibility and constant threat- in almost all sphere of life, which can lead to such problems as underachievement and school drop-out, low self-esteem and mental ill-health.
In an educational setting - known to be one of the most important social contexts where young people are supposed to develop their interaction, communication and social skills - LGBTI youth are at a particular disadvantage. They encounter more structural levels of discrimination related to the lack of representation of LGBTI issues in the education curriculum. Little information on LGBTI issues is available and there tends to be a lack of visibility, of positive role models and of safe spaces or support networks. As a result, young LGBTI people are at a particular risk of social exclusion in the education context.
These experiences have a negative impact on the capacity of young LGBTI people to manage the transition from school to work and to become confident and independent adults who can contribute to society.
Education and ILGA-Europe?
The inclusive school is identified as the key concept that underpins our work in this area. More specific ILGA-Europe is working with education through four main means:
- Advocacy work on a European level – we are monitoring closely the development within the European institutions, and provide input whenever possible. The aim is to increase the legal protection against discrimination of LGBTI people in access to education. This can be done by securing a new European anti-discrimination legislation and promoting effective implementation of relevant international and European human rights instruments.
- Supporting projects – we are actively supporting projects carried out by member organisations and other partners with knowledge sharing and expertise.
- Partnerships with other stakeholders – we are constantly in contact with other key stakeholders in the field of education in order to coordinate the work being carried out.
- Litigation in the European courts - we are looking into possible cases to bring to the European courts regarding the right to education to LGBTI people.
ILGA-Europe’s work on education is identified as a priority issue for in the Strategic Objectives 2011-2013.
More information about the work of ILGA-Europe on education - write to Sophie Aujean, Policy & Programmes Officer