MEPs send a solidarity statement for Poland’s Rainbow Friday

Ahead of the 2019 Rainbow Friday in Poland, around 50 MEPs who are Members of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup have sent a public letter to express their solidarity with organisers and participants.

It reads:

Dear students, teachers and school staff in Poland,

Ahead of Rainbow Friday 2019, we want to send you our heartfelt support. We sincerely wish for this 2019 edition to reach as many schools and educational settings as possible, in a peaceful and respectful environment.

At a time where bullying, violence and discrimination against LGBTI children and children in Rainbow Families are all too common, we can only support initiatives like Rainbow Friday.

As representative of EU citizens, it is our duty to remind Member States and EU institutions that educational settings should be safe and inclusive for everyone, including those who identify as LGBTI. We believe that inclusive and quality education for all is a matter of human rights, but also key to create global peace and prosperity, as shows its inclusion into the Sustainable Development Goals.

Many times, the European Parliament has taken a stand against LGBTI-phobia in schools and called on EU Members States to tackle bullying and violence against LGBTI children and children in Rainbow Families. It has also called on Member States and EU institutions to promote gender and LGBTI equality in education in multiple reports and resolutions.

However we must stress that it is also thanks to initiatives like Rainbow Friday, raising awareness and promoting respect and tolerance on the ground, that we can hope to “leave no one behind” when it comes to education.

Therefore we want to thank you and congratulate you for your brave commitment to making schools in Poland safer and more inclusive for everyone for the past four years. It takes courage to stand up publicly for human rights and inclusive education.

Rest assured that on Friday 25 October, we will be thinking of you and supporting you all from across Europe.