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21 Dec 2015

Report highlights extensive bullying of LGBT students in Cambodia

A report released by the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) reveals six out of ten students experience bullying at school due to their sexuality.

In the report, “LGBT Bullying in Cambodian Schools,” 62% of the people surveyed said they had experienced bullying in school, nearly all of those who did (94%) said they felt targeted because of their sexual identity.

The data is based on surveys of 245 past and present students and took place from 2014 to 2015.

Of those surveyed, 42% said they were bullied ‘often’ or ‘every day.’ The most common form of bullying was verbal abuse (84%), followed by social exclusion (46%) and physical (40%) and sexual bullying (33%).

A third of participants who experienced bullying said that they experienced “sexual bullying,” including “being coerced into pulling their pants or skirt down, simulated or actual sexual abuse and unwanted touching.”

Perhaps the most shocking part of the data is that 15% of LGBT students reported bullying from their teachers and and 10% reported that their teachers did not intervene in instances of bullying. 13% of respondents said they dropped out of school because of bullying.

“Unfortunately the results of this research indicate that Cambodia’s schools and many of its teachers are not protecting LGBT children from acts…that are injurious to their educational activities health and welfare,” the report said.

CCHR consultant Pat de Brun also explained that the scope of the study was limited as a third of the survey participants were over 30 and they struggled to find willing participants.

De Brun also  noted that many Cambodians do not feel that traditional categories of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender apply to them.
“We found the definition LGBT …doesn’t exactly match in Cambodia” de Brun said. “A lot of people, for example, who won’t identify as MSM [men who have sex with men] may have bisexual behaviors, but might not identify that way.”

Reader's Comments

1. 2015-12-25 07:48  
So the labels don't apply?
2. 2015-12-27 17:46  
Similarly here in Thailand, where I have lived for over 7 years, as regards the 'labelling' of LGBT people. It is quite frankly not part of their lexicon i.e. it simply doesn't translate or is understood. A good example are the many so-called 'lady-boys', or more correctly kathoeys, who are not necessarily labelled in Thailand as being 'transgenders', as simply understood in the West. So these surveys, whilst useful, may not always be particularly accurate.
3. 2015-12-27 19:24  
You'd think the "activists" collecting the data would understand this and adjust accordingly.

Maybe it suits them not to? :)
4. 2015-12-30 13:20  
I agree with GTiLad - why do we Westerners always insist on the locals adjusting to OUR labels and/or standards? We want them to drive like us, act like us, etc, etc. Why do so many people come to live here????
5. 2016-01-07 05:41  
i wish for the day where all labelling of people will end!

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