What's so contentious about promoting acceptance of gender and sexual diversity?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


The school environment is where children who fall outside the prevalent hetero-normative model have been most vulnerable to abuse. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse and intersex students have been marginalised and subjected to bullying and harassment and have not been in a position to enjoy a range of rights in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet initiatives in line with human rights education have proved to be highly contentious, with children’s voices and perspectives drowned out by moral panic dominated by adult perspectives and assumptions and the CRC largely absent from the debate.

This paper focuses on Australia’s Safe Schools program as a model of human rights education. It examines the public and political response to the program and its ramifications for human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th International Conference on Human Rights Education
EditorsAndrea Valdivia, Andrés Soffia Vega, Carmen Andrade Lara., Eduardo Alejandro Solís Muñoz, Fernando Atria, Juan Alejandro Henríquez Peñalillo, María Daniela Sánchez Stürmer, Margaret Sarles, María Emilia Tijoux M., Rita Lages, Roberto Garretón, Sergio Fuenzalida Bascuñán, Verónica Edith Gómez Urrutia, Lucy Mirtha Ketterer Romero
Place of PublicationSantiago Chile
PublisherUniversidad de Chile
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2017
EventInternational Conference on Human Rights Education: “Addressing the Challenges of the Civil Society” - Faculty of Law of the University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Duration: 12 Dec 201615 Dec 2016
Conference number: 7


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Rights Education
Abbreviated titleIHREC 2016
Internet address


  • school education
  • gender diversity
  • LGBTI students
  • children’s participation
  • moral panic

Cite this

Penovic, T. (2017). What's so contentious about promoting acceptance of gender and sexual diversity? In A. Valdivia, A. S. Vega, C. A. Lara., E. A. S. Muñoz, F. Atria, J. A. H. Peñalillo, M. D. S. Stürmer, M. Sarles, M. E. Tijoux M., R. Lages, R. Garretón, S. F. Bascuñán, V. E. G. Urrutia, & L. M. K. Romero (Eds.), 7th International Conference on Human Rights Education (pp. 1-12). Universidad de Chile.