LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

ILGA-Europe in association with the Irish EU Presidency hosts first ever EU conference on homophobic and transphobic bullying

Today ILGA-Europe in association with the Irish EU Presidency hosts the first ever EU level conference addressing homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. The conference will be opened by Ruairi Quinn, Irish Minister of Education and Skills. Ireland is one of the EU Member States which made significant effort in the last few years tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying.

This conference brings together EU, UNESCO and national policy makers, unions, teachers, and NGOs to jointly debate and look for methods of tackling these forms of bullying.

ILGA-Europe is very pleased to host this conference in association with the EU Presidency. We hope this partnership will increase awareness and lead to EU wide approach towards tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying which so far has been limited mostly to national and local initiatives.

This aim of the conference is to raise awareness about homophobic and transphobic bullying, their detrimental effect and engage various players in the field of education to exchange the best practices.

Gabi Calleja, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said:

“There is significant research conducted and solid evidence of homophobic and transphobic bullying taking place all across Europe: at school, within the families, at work. The consequences are devastating for many young people and their families - social exclusion, isolation, drop-out, underachievement, mental and physical ill health, and in some cases self-harm and suicide.”

“We hope this conference will provide a good starting point for a joint comprehensive EU level strategy to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying. A lot has been done in the EU at national level, the next step is for the EU to take a lead.”

ILGA-Europe cooperates closely with its member organisations in Ireland, GLEN and BeLonG To, in organising this conference.