Irish Embassy and BeLonG To support Lithuanian Gay League initiative to combat homophobic bullying
Friday, 03 October 2014
The Irish Embassy in Vilnius Lithuania has leant its weight to the country’s first anti-homophobic and transphobic bullying conference. The event, which features BeLonG To’s Michael Barron as a speaker, has been organized by the Lithuanian Gay League in response to very high levels of homophobic bullying in schools in the country.
Speaking at the conference BeLonG To’s Michael Barron said
“The Lithuanian Gay League have been doing inspirational work since 1993 to promote the rights of the LGBT community here. They do this in often very difficult circumstances, particularly when it comes to supporting LGBT young people. It is really significant that the Irish Embassy and Irish Ambassador Noonan here in Lithuania is showing its support for LGBT young people – by both participating in the conference and by hosting its international reception”.
“It demonstrates a commitment from the Irish government to promoting LGBT rights internationally, inline with our stated Human Rights Council priorities, and to tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying, inline with our own Action Plan on Bullying. In many countries around the world LGBT people, and LGBT young people in particular, face growing hostility and violence. The Irish Department for Foreign Affairs, including through its embassies, has an ongoing and vital role to play”.
Also speaking at the conference, the Lithuanian Gay League’s Chairperson Vladimir Simonko– said
“We really appreciate the support of the Irish Ambassador Noonan and BeLonG To. This was the first major discussion in our country on homophobic and transphobic bullying and the support from Ireland in this area was really significant. Lithuania and Ireland share so much in come in our culture and history. We call on our politicians and education stakeholders to follow Ireland and other European country’s example and to prioritise actions to ensure that LGBT young people are safe and included in our schools. We believe that our country needs a comprehensive action plan on bullying and that teachers need to be trained to protect LGBT young people in their care. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with BeLonG To and the Irish Embassy”.
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