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International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia - 2 weeks to go!

in WORLD, 04/05/2012

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is just two weeks away, and people and organizations on all continents are well and truly gearing up for action around May 17!

There are a range of creative, informative and inspiring events planned globally by activists, NGOs, community groups, schools and universities, local governments, police, government departments – to name but a few. Following earlier newsletters, we wanted to update you with some recent news which constitute a selection of information you can find on our website at http://www.dayagainsthomophobia.org

The 2012 IDAHO theme - "Fighting homo/transphobia IN and THROUGH education" – has continued to gain momentum. For details, visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/VoicesAgain... and check out initiatives through the tab labeled "Worldwide Initiatives".

Organizations from almost 30 countries have already announced their participation. Participation in Asia is especially strong with activities announced in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Of specific interest is the first-ever IDAHO celebrations in Burma, where Rainbow Colors of Burma will celebrate IDAHO in seven cities across the country, all with an educational theme.

In Europe, alongside many actions at national levels, a group of European Union leaders and politicians is preparing a special action directed towards young LGBT people, to be announced shortly. In addition, the European Parliament is organizing an inter-institutional campaign on May 15 and 16 with information stands and a film screening to mark this year's IDAHO. As well as work on the ground, many Facebook groups are also joining the action and spreading the word!

Unesco's recent engagement to fight homo/transphobic bullying will be underlined with an international conference which the agency co-organises with the IDAHO Committee on May 16 at Unesco headquarters in Paris to present their publication on worldwide best-practice on this issue. Organizations interested in attending should contact Christophe Cornu at c.cornu@unesco.org

We are also currently discussing with UNESCO the publication of a book which will feature the most powerful stories from all parts of the world on the issue of homo/transphobia and education.

If your organisation wants to participate in this, the easiest way is to post a call for contributions on your Facebook page and/or website, inviting people to share their stories, advice or creative ideas on homo/transphobic bullying and how to end it. This can easily be done as a 'last minute' IDAHO call to action.

Please get in touch with Joel Bedos at jbedos@dayagainsthomophobia.org for further details.

Other parts of the United Nations system will also be contributing to the mobilization on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia with a range of actions planned for May 17.

Of particular interest for activists will be the release very shortly of a video message by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, which is intended for activists to broadcast during their IDAHO events. The video should be online on the OHCHR site shortly and we will send you the url as soon as it's out.

Still at the UN, LGBT staff organization GLOBE will display a range of IDAHO posters from around the world in UN buildings in Geneva, New York and other duty stations around the world to show UN staff and delegates who use those buildings the varied issues, messages and campaigns against homophobia and transphobia.

Our apologies to all the many initiatives we were told about and could not feature in detail. From Cuba to Berlin, New Zealand to Mexico, Vietnam or Chile, check out more info from the global IDAHO webportal.

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