NextSharkNextShark.com
Latest Newsletter🍵 Problems at Half Moon Bay farmRead

Article

Cambodian Children Will Get Lessons on LGBTQ+ Acceptance Starting 2020

Cambodia

    Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

    Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

    Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

    Students in Cambodia will soon receive lessons on LGBTQ+ issues, a move expected to eradicate prevailing discrimination against the community in the Southeast Asian country.

    The lessons, which will start in 2020, will reportedly be part of the sex education curriculum beginning in seventh grade, covering topics on gender identity and sexual orientation, among others.

    A classroom in Cambodia (representation only). Image via Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia / Rorsart Yar (CC BY 2.0)

    While Cambodia has no laws specific to LGBTQ+ individuals, the country remains largely conservative, with same-sex relationships still being viewed as a social taboo.

    Those who deviate from norms are allegedly still forced into arranged marriages, conversion therapies and other methods geared toward setting them “straight.”

    8th Pride Week in Cambodia (2016). Image Screenshot (Cropped) via RAINBoW COMMUNITY KAMPUCHEA (RoCK)

    Earlier this month, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), a non-government organization, published a study showing that one in five LGBTQ+ individuals reported being denied a job because of their identity.

    Meanwhile, one in three reported being harassed in the workplace, more commonly by colleagues and rarely by superiors.

     

    This is not the first time the Cambodian government made efforts to bring more awareness about LGBTQ+ issues in schools.

    In 2017, plans to include such topics in the education curriculum have already made headlines — one objective of which was to show that homosexuality is normal.

    Grade 7 students, for starters, will be asked to “elaborate on the role and difference of gender and sex.”

    “Values have changed over the past years and courses need to be adapted,” said Chhay Kim Sitheavy, director of the education ministry’s school health department, according to the Phnom Penh Post.

     

    The addition of LGBTQ+ issues in the country’s education curriculum is expected to prevent bullying in schools, following an example previously set by neighbor Thailand.

    “It’s about equality,” said Yung Kunthearith, deputy director of the education ministry’s health studies department, according to Reuters.

    “We want our children to be aware of these issues and know that no one should be discriminated against in school or any part of life.”

    Around 3,100 teachers have already been trained to teach the new material — with at least five subsequently coming out of the closet — but “very homophobic” ones still showed some resistance.

    Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) President Keo Remy. Image Screenshot via UNCOHCHR

    On Dec. 7, Keo Remy, president of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC), an official government arm, called on the public to end discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.

    “Senior government leaders have instructed and called on everyone to not discriminate against LGBT people in Cambodia. Families, communities and society should not discriminate against LGBT people,” Remy said, according to the Khmer Times.

    “If you have children who are [LGBT], please do not use violence or evict them from homes — acknowledge the truth, love them and the community so we can all have harmony.”

    Feature Image via U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh (CC BY-ND 2.0)

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal