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6 - 17 November 2017  
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     Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Fiji supports UNESCO's call to action against violence in schools


Fiji has supported the call by UNESCO to end violence in schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Fiji's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Ambassador Deo Saran attended the International Ministerial Meeting in Paris that hears that violence in schools is a global problem. 

That pressing issue is also experienced in other educational settings.

The meeting organised by UNESCO also heard that students who were perceived not to conform to prevailing sexual and gender norms, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI), are more vulnerable.

The meeting on "Out In The Open: Education Sector Responses to Violence based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity/Expression", held from May 17- 18 represented the largest gathering of Ministers and other high-level representatives to address the issue. 

The event featured the launch of UNESCO's global report on the nature, scope and impact of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in educational settings, and of current actions. It provides education-sector stakeholders with a framework for planning and implementing effective responses to this type of school-related gender-based violence, as part of wider efforts to prevent and address violence in school settings.

The attending leaders discussed how to strengthen education-sector responses to the violence. The ministers produced a Call to Action which affirmed their commitment to ensure the right to education in a safe environment for all learners.

The ministers committed to reinforcing their efforts to prevent and address violence including that based on sexual orientation and gender identity expression, within the broad framework of a comprehensive education sector response to school-related violence including bullying, and while taking into consideration the specificities of different legal and socio-cultural contexts, particularly through cooperation between countries to share best practices.

 

The two-day event featured key plenary debates, thematic roundtable discussions and testimonies by those personally impacted by violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in schools.

 

Approximately 250 participants attended the conference including Ministers and other government officials; and representatives from Civil Society Organisations, UN Agencies, and other Multi-Lateral Organisations.