Despite signing international agreements to protect child rights, children with “diverse sexualities and sex characteristics” in the Asia-Pacific region continue to suffer from school violence on the basis of their sexual orientation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported.
A two-day UNESCO consultation held in Manila, Philippines, in early November engaged a range of experts to assess the education sector’s responses to these issues.
Titled “From Insult to Inclusion: Regional Consultation on Education Sector Responses to School Violence on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE),” the event was held in the Philippines because of the country’s noteworthy passing of two anti-bullying acts in recent years, UNESCO reported.
Representatives from Cambodia, Fiji, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam attended the consultation. According to a statement from UNESCO Bangkok, these representatives “highlight[ed] gaps and good practices in country-level data, policy frameworks and education-sector responses to address these issues as well as identify strategic opportunities for collaboration.”
Sustainable Development Goal 4 pledges “inclusive and equitable quality education” to children, which UNESCO says has not yet been fully realized for learners who are gender non-conforming.