Press release 2022
LGBTQI Inclusive Education
Report, Index & Map 2022
No significant progress since 2018 and a growing anti-propaganda movement
IGLYO released the Second Edition of the LGBTQI Inclusive Education Report, Index and Map at the IDAHOT+ Forum in Cyprus. To date the most comprehensive research on LGBTQI inclusion in schools, IGLYO’s 2022 Report indicates no significant progress since 2018.
Young people who are or are perceived as LGBTQI are more at risk of experiencing violence in schools. IGLYO’s records show that one in two LGBTQI learners in Europe have experienced bullying in school at least once based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or variations of sex characteristics.
All children and young people have the fundamental right to education, health, safety and well-being. Yet, IGLYO’s Executive Director Bella FitzPatrick explains: “LGBTQI young people exist in all cultures and across all social backgrounds. One of the most universal experiences for LGBTQI youth is school attendance. The way in which LGBTQI people are talked about (or not) in schools greatly impacts a young person’s perception of themselves. Where the school is not a safe environment for LGBTQI young people, they are effectively being denied their right to an education.“
The 2022 Edition IGLYO’s LGBTQI Inclusive Education Report, Index and Map provides an in-depth account of the current situation on LGBTQI Inclusive Education in each Council of Europe Member State as well as Belarus and Kosovo, and highlights the evolution in this area since 2018. The Report provides qualitative data on a set of 10 indicators that cover anti-discrimination legislation, education policies and anti-bullying action plans, teacher training, inclusive curricula, and the existence of support systems, information and guidelines, among other areas. The accompanying map and index rank each country to show the comparison between each country and highlight where best practices exist.
IGLYO’s new research indicates an almost complete standstill across the Council of Europe Region since 2018: Only 6 Member States provide most of the recommended measures, whereas 10 have failed to implement any as of yet. “Looking at the stagnation on the progress of measures that has settled in most countries, it is easy to understand why many LGBTQI young people are still experiencing high rates of violence and discrimination at school”, says Bella.
For the first time, IGLYO had to look at opposition due to the current backlash on LGBTQI rights, especially concerning trans, non-binary, and intersex people. Currently 6 countries have implemented anti-propaganda laws and policies that make it impossible for learners to receive LGBTQI inclusive content in schools. “It is worrying to see that some countries have implemented laws to prevent teachers from talking about sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics in schools”, says Rubén Ávila Rodríguez, IGLYO’s Policy & Research Manager. “LGBTQI civil and political rights are being eroded in many European countries, and some authorities and political parties are using children and young people to push back on legislative and policy measures protecting us. We call on governments to strengthen their work in the area of education to safeguard, protect and advance the rights of LGBTQI people all across Europe”.
National governments and European institutions have the responsibility to prevent and address the high levels of school violence and discrimination LGBTQI children and young people experience. IGLYO’s 2022 Report, Index, and Map represent an opportunity for European institutions and national governments to hear from civil society organisations about the progress to date, learn from other countries, and map their future actions in relation to LGBTQI inclusion within schools.
This research has been produced with the financial support of the Dutch Ministry of Education Culture & Science, and the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) 2021-2027 programme of the European Union.
- Only 6 countries provide most of the recommended measures across Europe as of yet (Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden). Some regions in Spain have also implemented most of the measures.
- By contrast, 10 countries have failed to implement any measure at the time of writing this report (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Latvia, Monaco, Poland, Russia, San Marino, Turkey and Ukraine) and 5 have implemented legislation that goes against the right to education of LGBTQI learners (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Hungary, Latvia and Russia).
- 6 countries have anti-propaganda laws and policies that make it impossible for learners to receive inclusive content in schools (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia).
- Although 67% of Member States have implemented anti-discrimination laws or action plans, other practices still remain challenging in most countries, and the existence of inclusive policies does not translate into other measures, such as inclusive curricula or teacher training.
- 5 Member States prohibit extracurricular activities that address LGBTQI issues.
- Many teachers still report that they lack the confidence to talk about LGBTQI topics and support LGBTQI students, yet only 2 Member States have introduced mandatory teacher training on LGBTQI topics.
- Whilst we have observed some progress regarding protections against discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation, European States continue to fail in protecting trans, non-binary and intersex children and youth.
- Self-determined legal gender recognition for LGBTQI young people under 16 has only been reported in 4 Member States.