Asylum seekers in the Netherlands to be taught about LGBT rights

The Dutch government will begin teaching refugees in asylum centers about the public and government commitment to LGBT rights in the Netherlands.  Europe has seen an influx of migrants due to violence in Syria and Iraq.

According to the Dutch newspaper Trouw, the information given to asylum seekers will be drawn from materials that are already being used in a successful initiative in the education system.  That initiative uses a gay-straight alliance method in which students, teachers, and administrators provide information about LGBT issues in order to create “a safe atmosphere in which [people] can be themselves.”

The move comes after reports that openly LGBT asylees were harassed, and in at least one case, attacked, at housing centers. Education Minister Jet Bussemaker told newspaper, “we must not be naïve.  Asylum seekers come from countries where women’s rights are not always respected, where gay rights are not a given. We are making it clear that discrimination is not tolerated.”

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