Malta launches inspiring education policy for trans, gender variant and intersex children
An education policy launched by the Maltese government today (Tuesday, 16 June 2015) is another ground-breaking move, inspired by the landmark Gender Expression, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics Act passed earlier this year.
The policy is the first of its kind in Europe; no other European country has a comprehensive education policy focusing on the needs of trans, gender variant and intersex children. It identified several particular needs that must be addressed including confidentiality, adequate facilities, support, inclusive policies, the possibility to amend documentation and access to information.
The policy is accompanied by a procedure, which outlines how the policy’s provisions should be implemented uniformly in all schools. Both documents focus on how to address the issues faced by trans and intersex students in schools and how to accommodate their needs. This policy highlights the fundamental obligation placed on schools to provide all students with a safe and inclusive educational environment.
Although not specifically required under the GIGESC Act, this policy breathes life in Article 13 of that Act which obliges the government to promote equality and protect LGBTI people from discrimination. As a result, the legislation is the driving force behind the policy and its accompanying procedure. In terms of the policy’s specific goals, it aims to foster a school environment that is inclusive and safe, free from discrimination and harassment and promotes diversity.
“What is so exciting about this policy is the fact that it could pave the way for similar initiatives all over Europe. There is no need for countries to have the equivalent of the GIGESC Act already in place, this is a change legislators can make right away to improve the lives of all children.” said ILGA-Europe's Senior Policy and Programmes Officer Sophie Aujean.
“Everyone at ILGA-Europe congratulates the Maltese government who have put these documents together and we look forward to celebrating this achievement with Minister Helena Dalli at our European Equality Gala in Brussels next week.”