This issue contains 4 sections.
Combating anti-LGBT violence and discrimination and enhancing resilience
Although social acceptance of homosexuality is widespread in Dutch society, LGBTs still experience a degree of harassment, intimidation and even violence. Moreover, in some sections of society, homosexuality is still a taboo subject.
Combating anti-LGBT discrimination and violence
The government wishes to allay LGBTs’ fears for their safety by:
- increasing their willingness to make a criminal complaint of violence, for example through improved public education;
- improving the registration of anti-LGBT discrimination;
- increasing the penalties for violence aggravated by discrimination;
- improving the safety and psychological resilience of vulnerable groups, such as monitoring trends in the general social acceptance of homosexuality and in threats to LGBT safety (by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research).
Enhancing LGBT safety
Individual citizens, businesses and institutions must all take responsibility for improving LGBT safety. The government will support such initiatives, focusing particularly on:
- The power of the social media and youth networks
Research shows that gay teenagers feel the need to meet each other via peer group gatherings and the internet. The government will continue to provide financial support for activities of this kind, including events like weekend camps and home meetings. It will also provide financial support for virtual forums, such as www.18min.eu, where gay teenagers do not run the risk of discrimination or harassment.
- Safe neighbourhoods for all, including LGBTs
Municipalities that tackle anti-LGBT violence in their streets and neighbourhoods can count on financial support from the government. Such action will focus primarily on prevention. Measures will include training youth workers, creating safe meeting places for teenage LGBTs, and working through neighbourhood alliances.
- Safe schools for gay pupils and gay teachers
Gay pupils and gay teachers should not feel that they have to hide their sexual orientation, and they should feel safe from unwanted sexual acts, harassment and intimidation. The government wants schools, parents, municipalities, police, social work and youth care services to work together to ensure this. The registration of incidents on school premises will be improved and pupil support advisory teams will be established to help gay pupils. The Centre for Safety at School will continue to educate school staff about homosexuality, for example by running courses on combating classroom violence and discrimination. In addition, the government will encourage peer-to-peer support for schoolchildren by volunteers from COC (the Netherlands’ main lesbian and gay organisation) and other groups.