An effective response to bullying at the international conference in Vilnius

National LGBT* rights organization LGL organized an international conference “Tackling Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying: Challenges and Effective Responses”, which took place in Vilnius on October 2, 2014.

The presentations on homophobic and transphobic bullying were given by a team of international experts:  Marinus Schouten (GALE – the Global Alliance for LGBT* Education, the Netherlands), Michael Barron (BeLongTo – Youth Services for Lesbian, Gay,  Bisexual & Transgender People in Ireland), Jurgita Smiltė Jasiulionė (psychologist at helpline “Child line”), Ausma Sakalauskaitė (teacher and volunteer at “Youth line”) and Rugilė Butkevičiūtė (Women Information Centre).

The speakers from the Netherlands, Ireland and Lithuania introduced current anti-discrimination strategies and programmes for LGBT* youth in Europe and shared their best practices in tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Members of Lithuanian parliament, representatives of The Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman and Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour,  Ambassadors of the Czech Republic, Ireland, Austria, Italy, and the Netherlands and the First secretary of the Embassy of Sweden were among many honorable participants of the conference.

The presentations made it clear that psychological violence based on sexual identity or orientation has an impact on those who are bullied, those who bully, and everyone in the hostile environment of bullying. Therefore, National LGBT* rights organization LGL has introduced participants of the conference with a resolution, urging Lithuanian Minister of Education and Science Dainius Pavalkis to develop and implement a national anti-bullying plan.

progressThe conference was organized as a part of the project “C.O.D.E: Coming out for Diversity and Equality” which is funded by the European Union employment and social solidarity program PROGRESS.