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UNESCO activities on school bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity - IDAHOT 2014

14.05.2014

In commemoration of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, celebrated each year on 17 May, and as students across Thailand return to schools for a new academic year, UNESCO and its partners are drawing attention to the issue of bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Thailand.

To learn more about what we’re doing and how you can help promote attention to this issue, please see what’s happening below:

• The release of the first systematic study on the issue in Thailand, undertaken by Plan International Thailand, UNESCO and Mahidol University, with support from the Swedish International Development Agency and UNAIDS funding to UNESCO. The report documents widespread bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Thailand, with over 50% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students reporting this form of bullying in the past month. The study documents the toxic effect bullying has on its victims, and steps schools, policy-makers and all of us need to do to address it.

Read more about the ground breaking study:
o Issues brief (English and Thai)
o Infographic (English and Thai)
o Full research report (English and Thai)

• A “School Rainbow” campaign where students and communities will chalk rainbows around school gates in Bangkok in a sign of support for sexual and gender diversity. This campaign draws on the DIY Rainbow campaign which has had people all over the world drawing chalk rainbows on the ground to show support to end stigma, discrimination and violence against people from LGBTI communities.

To highlight key issues on bullying of young LGBTI people, this Thailand-specific campaign will promote the drawing of rainbows in front of school gates around Bangkok. This will be planned and carried out by students, teachers, school staff and community partners.

All chalk rainbows link to a website (www.schoolrainbow.org) that has been created for the campaign. The website includes more information on the topic of bullying, a lesson plan on sexual and gender diversity developed by UNESCO (2014 IDAHOT Lesson Plan for Thailand, English and Thai) for Thailand, and other resources.

Discussions on the issue of bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity were carried out at the sites with students and young people throughout the week. This included a panel discussion at Thammasat University opened by the Rainbow All Boy Cheerleaders (see video), and a “Rainbow Power” workshop and public rally held at the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center (BACC) on IDAHOT.

Photos of the campaign are available at: www.en.schoolrainbow.org/photos

• An event commemorating the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on Wednesday 14 May at Thailand Knowledge Park. Organized by UNESCO, UNAIDS, and the Embassies of the United States and the Netherlands in Thailand, the event included a film screening, and panel discussion showcasing experiences and perspectives on the realities and risks of discrimination and bullying against LGBT young people.

The event, attended by around 150 government, civil society, development partners and youth, included the official release of the first-ever comprehensive study of homophobic and transphobic bullying in Thai schools referred to above, and the announcement of funding support from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to UNESCO to support further work in this area in Thailand and in the Asia-Pacific region.

• A social media campaign in English and Thai on the theme of “Bullying, LGBT rights in school & HIV” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

• An op-ed in the Bangkok Post issued by Gwang-Jo Kim, Director UNESCO Bangkok, Steve Kraus, Director, UNAIDS Asia – Pacific Regional Support Team and Maja Cubarrubia, Director, Plan International Thailand. This message demonstrates senior management commitment and leadership in addressing the issue, as also illustrated by the UNESCO Director-General’s 2014 message on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. 

A video on the process and outcomes of the initiative.
www.youtube.com/watch (English)
www.youtube.com/watch (Thai)

For more information in these activities, see the press release in English and Thai language.

For any queries or to find out how you could be involved, please feel free to contact Justine Sass (j.sass@unesco.org) or Prempreeda Pramoj Na Ayutthaya (p.pramoj@unesco.org).


Stand Up. Speak Out. Stop Bullying.

 

Related links:

International partners shine light on realities and risks of bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people in Thai schools

A video has also been produced which shares more on the process and outcomes of the initiative. Watch it at:
www.youtube.com/watch (English)
www.youtube.com/watch (Thai)

Rainbow All Boy Cheerleaders for #IDAHOT (video) 

Photos of the campaign (www.en.schoolrainbow.org/photos)

IDAHOT Photo Gallery "School rainbows shine light on LGBT rights"

UNESCO Launched “Friendly Campus” in Celebration of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) (UNESCO Beijing office) 

Capacity Building Programme on Community-Based Exhibitions and Joint Exhibition on LGBT Rights (UNESCO Ha Noi office)