Wear it Purple Day: Parliamentarians called upon to protect LGBTQIA+ young people

August 26, 2020

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) celebrates Wear it Purple 2020, a day where schools and workplaces are encouraged to wear purple as a symbol of fostering supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for LGBTIQA+ young people. 

ALHR LGBT Rights Co-chair Georgia Burke said, “Studies of LGBTIQA+ students have shown that these young people represent a significant minority population: 10% of students are same-sex attracted, 4% of students are trans and gender diverse and 1.7% of students are intersex. Research has found that 10% of young people reported no experience of Sexuality Education at school, 40% attended a school with no social or structural recognition of sexual difference; only 19% of young people attended a school that was supportive of their sexuality; and more than one-third described their school as homophobic.”

Burke continued, “We need to support and recognise these vulnerable young people. It is impossible to underestimate the power of being ‘seen’”. 

ALHR LGBT Rights Co-chair Nicholas Stewart said, “At Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, every day is inclusive and safe. But that’s not the case for many members of the LGBTIQA+ community around the world. Young people, in particular, are vulnerable to harm because they are not yet armed with the skills that only adulthood brings.” 

Stewart continued, “Australia is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2019, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child noted its serious concern at the limited information available regarding violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children. Wear it Purple Day is significant because it reminds our governments that we need to do more to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ young people, and that this starts with including them in population research.” 

ALHR President, Kerry Weste said: “In NSW, we have seen Mark Latham’s draft legislation targeting LGBTIQA+ young people and seeking to remove already limited resources schools use to help LGBTIQA+ children. We have asked the NSW Parliament to give due and proper weight to its international human rights law obligations in assessing this legislation. Wear it Purple Day is an appropriate reminder of the important work ahead for our society.”   

Contact: ALHR Media Manager, Matt Mitchell M: 0431 980 365 E: media@alhr.org.au