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European Parliament puts homophobic bullying on its agenda

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    European Parliament puts homophobic bullying on its agenda

    On 13 September 2006 a Report on Social Exclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people was launched in the European Parliament.
    Image: from left to right: Raul Rovema, MEP; Michael Cashman, MEP; Sophie In’t Veld, MEP; Björn van Roozendaal (IGLYO); Proinsias De Rossa, MEP; Piia-Noora Kaupii, MEP;Jean Lambert, MEP; Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe and Judit Takács (researcher & author of the report), by ILGA-Europe.
    Members of the European Parliament (MEP) taking part at the launch agreed to draw up a declaration to stop homophobic behaviour in schools. MEPs from the Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights committed to take a lead on this initiative.
    The launch of ILGA-Europe's and IGLYO's joint publication on social exclusion of LGBT young people led to these and other concrete promises coming from the European Parliament. The Intergroup together with IGLYO and ILGA-Europe shall develop an agenda on how young LGBT people in Europe should be protected against discrimination occurring in different spheres of life.
    Patricia Prendiville, director ILGA-Europe said: “We are happy that the concerns arising from the report are taken up seriously by the European Parliament. It became clear that even though education does not lie within the EU competences, but is a responsibility of EU member states, there is a clear need to protect young people from discrimination whilst in education. We will formulate concrete measures which will support LGBT young people in becoming full citizens of their societies.”
    The research learned that LGBT young people face high amounts of prejudice and discrimination in every day life:
    • 61.2% face discrimination at school,
    • 51.2% in family life, and
    • 29.8% in their own circle of friends.
    Over 700 young LGBT people from 37 European countries took part in the survey. The report clearly demonstrates that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity undermines young LGBT people's capacity to be socially included and to become active citizens.
    IGLYO and ILGA-Europe called for further support to LGBT youth. “Young people first need to be able to build up their self-confidence, especially in those places where they are not accepted and their rights are not recognised. Only with increased self-esteem and by the removal of barriers that young people face to integrate in society can they become active citizens and promote their rights. Like other young people, LGBT young people are the future work force of the European Union, that's why the European Union should actively support LGBT young people,” Björn van Roozendaal, board member of IGLYO said.