Japan has updated its bullying prevention policy this week and for the first time, sexual and gender minority students will be protected.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the new guidelines will boost Japan’s reputation in the region on LGBT+ rights.
“Japan’s new policy on bullying is an important step toward ensuring equal access to education for all Japanese children,” said Kanae Doi, Japan director at Human Rights Watch.
“The government is demonstrating leadership in educating and empowering teachers to protect LGBT students.
The Basic Policy for the Prevention of Bullying now includes specific instructions mandating that schools should prevent LGBT+ bullying by “promot[ing] proper understanding of teachers on…sexual orientation/gender identity as well as mak[ing] sure to inform on the school’s necessary measures regarding this matter.”
“Japan’s support for two recent United Nations Human Rights Council resolutions on LGBT rights and co-chairing the 2016 UNESCO conference on LGBT bullying should be points of pride for the government,” Doi said.
“By amending the Basic Policy for the Prevention of Bullying to include sexual orientation and gender identity, Japan has taken the crucial step of bringing its own policies in line with its international human rights obligations.”
Just last year, HRW reported that the Japanese government had failed LGBT+ students who were among the most vulnerable to bullying.