Take Pride in Kindness - Safer Schools for LGBTI People
18 December 2022
HA NOI, VIET NAM (18 December 2022)
The United Nations (UN) in Viet Nam celebrates the promotion of safer schools for sexual and gender minority persons, usually referred to as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in collaboration with the University of Education, Viet Nam National University (VNU-UEd), Ha Noi and LGBTI community-led partner organizations - Hanoi Queer, Venus Social Enterprise and Finding a Self through Life Writing Project, with support from the global UN Free and Equal (UNFE) campaign aimed at promoting equal rights and the fair treatment of LGBTIQ+ people.
With the key message of Take Pride in Kindness for Safer Schools for LGBTI People, the 2022 UNFE campaign in Viet Nam is to promote comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) for safer learning environments, to raise social awareness about diversity in Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) , and especially, to enhance understanding of the rights of LGBTIQ+ individuals in Viet Nam through online surveys, a social media campaign, and a hybrid public advocacy event hosted at the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU) on 18 December 2022.
‘Reports of bullying, stigma, and discrimination in schools based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression are still common in Viet Nam. Although more data is needed, research shows, for example, that LGBTI students face higher levels of gender-based violence than their peers and that education institutions are often not safe for them. National data shows that HIV infections have been on the increase among young gay men and other men who have sex with men, as well as transgender women. We also know that LGBTI students face specific mental health challenges that include negative family reactions to their sexuality or gender identity and fears of discrimination,’ said Lesley Miller, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Viet Nam on behalf of the UN.
In consultation with a broad group of representatives from the LGBTIQ+ community in Viet Nam, the UNFE in Viet Nam has found that strengthening the inclusion of SOGIESC discussion and information in CSE content at schools is an area where continued engagement of the UN has important value.
The campaign in Viet Nam recognizes that groups of teachers and pedagogical students, with their pedagogical skills and expertise, are important agents of change in spreading effective content of CSE, particularly SOGIESCs, through kindness and pride-based approaches to many future generations of students. From there, respect for diversity, kindness, and pride attitudes will be promoted and nurtured; and thus, promotion of safe schools and educational environments for all students will be committed and translated into action.
During the public event today, exhibition displays, games, quizzes, and discussion sessions on gender diversity will be arranged. Participants, including pre-service teachers, lecturers, LGBTIQ+ organizations, adolescents and young people are encouraged to take part in event activities to learn about LGBITQ+ and share their perspectives regarding kindness and pride for safer schools for all learners.
‘In 2021, the UN supported the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in digitalizing the Comprehensive Sexuality Education programme and making it open source for teachers, parents, and students at all levels. This work contributes to advancing the rights of LGBTI adolescents and young people and is helping to raise public awareness on sexuality education, breaking taboos, tackling gender bias, and enabling more inclusive, friendly schools for all. We strongly encourage everyone to visit these online resources and take a proactive approach to equipping yourselves with knowledge,’ added Lesley Miller.
‘Today, at this UNFE event, we celebrate the fact that everyone –all people-- regardless of their Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression or any other status, are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And we direct our focus on education as a strategic vehicle for change. The UN is pleased to be cooperating with the University of Education, Vietnam National University, Hanoi in hosting this event which is part of the University’s broader efforts to transform its teaching staff, its student body, and its learning environment. We welcome the emphasis on respect and kindness with the aim of ensuring safety for everyone in the spirit of ‘Leaving no one behind,’ shared Lesley Miller.
2022 is the fourth year of the UNFE campaign in Viet Nam. This year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) leads the coordination of the campaign, with support from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the UN Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) in Viet Nam, in collaboration with the University of Education, Vietnam National University (VNU-UEd), Hanoi Queer, Venus Social Enterprise and Finding a Self Through Life Writing Project.
Livestream of the 2022 UNFE event:
- The UN in Viet Nam Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/uninvietnam
- The University of Education, Vietnam National University, Hanoi: https://www.facebook.com/daihocgiaoduc.daihocquocgia
- The UN in Viet Nam Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@unvietnam6889
Facebook event page: https://fb.me/e/2Cm7zdZOS
About UN Free & Equal
UN Free & Equal is an initiative launched by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2013 as a global UN public information campaign for equal rights and the fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people (LGBTIQ+) everywhere. UN Free & Equal has also supported national level campaigns and events in more than 40 countries around the world since its launch, including Viet Nam.
UN Free & Equal Official Website: https://www.unfe.org/
About the UN in Viet Nam
With the aim to build sustainable and inclusive state, the UN in Viet Nam is working together with Viet Nam in accelerating SDG achievement and other national development priorities in four strategic areas: Investing in People; Ensuring climate resilience and environmental sustainability; Fostering prosperity and partnership; and Promoting justice, peace and inclusive governance.
UN in Viet Nam Official Website: https://vietnam.un.org/
About the University of Education, Vietnam National University (VNU-UEd)
VNU-UEd is a high-quality training and research institution in education science and technology, applied for training teachers, education administrators and other human resources in the field of education.
VNU-UEd Official Website: https://education.vnu.edu.vn/
About Hanoi Queer
Hanoi Queer aims at a Viet Nam that is open and equal to LGBTQ people in the fields of education, culture, and society. The organization creates safe spaces, hosts and promotes community culture, and empowers LGBTQ communities while raising awareness and changing social attitudes towards LGBTQ people in Viet Nam.
Hanoi Queer Official Website: https://queer.vn/
About Venus Social Enterprise
Venus Social Enterprise is the very first transgender women (TGW) social enterprise in Viet Nam. In 2015, Venus was established as a community-based organization, led by TGW, for the TGW community. In the 5 years since, Venus has provided much needed HIV services to the transgender community in Ha Noi. In 2020, with the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)’s support through USAID/PATH Healthy Markets, Venus was granted a business certificate and officially became Venus Community Development and Consultancy Social Enterprise.
Venus Social Enterprise Community Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dnxhvenus
About Finding a Self through Life Writing Project
Finding a Self through Life Writing Project, sponsored by the Alumni Grants Scheme under the Aus4Skills programme, is a community project targeting individuals who identify as women and trans men, who are migrant workers or ethnic minorities from the northern region of Viet Nam. The project focuses on using language and the practice of life writing to help women and trans men explore their identity and self, express and build a discourse of that identity with their own words.
Finding a Self through Life Writing Project Official Website: https://www.timtoitrongchu.com/
For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
- Trịnh Anh Tuấn, Senior Programme Communications and Advocacy Officer, Resident Coordinator Office (RCO), UN in Viet Nam, email@example.com, +84 24 3850 0193
- Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hương, Communication Officer, UNICEF Viet Nam, firstname.lastname@example.org, +84 24 3850 225
Follow news of the UN in Viet Nam on Twitter @uninvietnam
 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer.