Fiji’s NGO Coalition on Human Rights has called for the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) youth on the occasion of May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).
“Organisations such as the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and LGBTIQ networks continue to receive reports of young people who face bullying, intimidation, and other forms of psychological or physical violence because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” said Shamima Ali, Chair of the NGO Coalition.
“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have the right to grow up in safe and welcoming environments, where they can develop their personalities, identities and talents respectfully,” said Ali.
“The Ministry of Education’s Policy on Child Protection in Schools calls upon all schools to “respect their (children) rights, wishes, sexual orientation and feelings”, therefore there should be zero tolerance on any homophobic or transphobic bullying in educational institutions,” said Ali.
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is the commemoration of the World Health Organisation’s May 17, 1990 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
IDAHOT is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including Fiji. The global campaign unites millions of people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.