Vietnam News

Vietnam accused of teaching young people that being gay is a ‘disease’

Government has ignored laws intended to prevent stigma, discrimination and bullying, Human Rights Watch claims

Young people in Vietnam continue to be taught at home and at school that same-sex attraction is a “disease” and a “mental illness” that can be cured and treated, despite legislation designed to support and protect LGBTQ+ rights.

Stigma and discrimination about sexual orientation and gender identity contribute to the verbal harassment and bullying of LGBTQ+ young people, which in some cases leads to physical violence, according to a report published on Thursday by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Activists have called on the Vietnamese government to fulfil its pledges to protect LGBTQ+ rights.

“Largely thanks to a vibrant civil society-led LGBT rights movement, social awareness and acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity has increased greatly in recent years in Vietnam. The government’s actions, however, have so far not officially reflected these changes,” said Graeme Reid of HRW.

Young people in Vietnam continue to be taught at home and at school that same-sex attraction is a “disease” and a “mental illness” that can be cured and treated, despite legislation designed to support and protect LGBTQ+ rights.

Stigma and discrimination about sexual orientation and gender identity contribute to the verbal harassment and bullying of LGBTQ+ young people, which in some cases leads to physical violence, according to a report published on Thursday by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Activists have called on the Vietnamese government to fulfil its pledges to protect LGBTQ+ rights.

“Largely thanks to a vibrant civil society-led LGBT rights movement, social awareness and acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity has increased greatly in recent years in Vietnam. The government’s actions, however, have so far not officially reflected these changes,” said Graeme Reid of HRW.

Last year, Vietnam’s education ministry produced guidelines for an LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education curriculum, but it has not yet been implemented in schools. Cambodia, Japan and the Philippines have all recently rolled out legislation to protect LGBTQ+ youth.

“We need stronger steps from the government to tackle discrimination and create a safe and inclusive educational environment for our youth,” said director Ngo Le Phuong Linh of the ICS Centre, an advocacy rights group in Vietnam.

Vietnam accused of teaching young people that being gay is a ‘disease’ | Global development | The Guardian

By Kate Hodal – The Guardian – February 13, 2020