"My teacher said I had a disease": barriers to the right to education for LGBT youth in Vietnam

Case Studies & Research
Human Rights Watch
65 p. + 68 p.
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"Giáo viên nói tôi bị bệnh": Những rào cản đối với quyền giáo dục của thanh thiếu niên LGBT ở Việt Nam

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in Vietnam face stigma and discrimination at home and at school. Many experience verbal harassment and bullying, which in some cases leads to physical violence. Teachers are often untrained and ill-equipped to handle cases of anti-LGBT discrimination. Their lessons too often uphold the widespread myth in Vietnam that same-sex attraction is a “mental disorder.” “My Teacher Said I Had a Disease” documents how pervasive inaccurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity in Vietnamese schools contributes to bullying and exclusion of LGBT youth. LGBT youth suffer a range of negative impacts, including heightened stress that affects their ability to study, and skipping or staying home from school to avoid ill-treatment. In recent years, the Vietnamese government has made pledges to recognize the rights of LGBT people. However, tangible progress has lagged behind the promises. Human Rights Watch calls on the Ministry of Education and Training to include information about LGBT people in the curriculum and prevent violence and discrimination against LGBT students, and the Ministry of Health to clarify that same-sex attraction is not a disease.

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