ILGA Oceania – Speaking Out Proud

Moderated open hearing with panelists Kevin Hague (Greens), Louisa Wall (Labour), David Seymour (Act),  Denis O’Rorke (NZ First), Dr Jackie Blue (Human Rights Commission).

Elizabeth Kerekere promoted a discussion about a political and national strategy:

Consideration of three levels: engaging elders of the community who represent the various identities, generating a space for youth voice through a hui, and because we know what needs to happen but the backing needs to come through research and a research symposium.

Contribution to the discussion from the trans pre-conference from Sally Dellow and others. Gender identity needs to be added to the Human Rights Act. All that exists at the moment is an opinion from the crown law office. Invite us to the table: “nothing about us, without us”.

Where to look for the working models? Argentina led the way, now Europe contains a lot of best practice. Malta in particular has model legislation.

Top priority actions that government can take to prevent youth LGBTIQA+ suicide? They need to be visible is school, visibility doesn’t mean a poster on the wall it means the process and policies in those spaces respect LGBTIQA+ youth and treat them with dignity.

Question from Bella Simpson: What are you doing to change the situation for LGBTIQA+ youth and what they experiencing in schools?

  • Whole of government approach (current model happening in family violence and sexual violence).
  • It gets better – changed to focus on now. How do you make it better straight away?
  • How safe are our schools? Audit of ERO – following ERO for 6 months, monitoring how well did it provide a safe space for LGBTIQA+. 80% of schools were shown to not be safe but ERO did not identify this once. Change of process now so that it makes ERO accountable for identifying support of LGBTIQA+ students.
  • We have a reactive system. Relying on the students or the teachers to create the change for schools to go through a process.
  • Why now tell every school they have queer students, what are you doing to help their safety? (Haven’t we already done this?)
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