LGBT Youth Scotland welcomes recommendations on hate crime, prejudice and community cohesion

     Young people

LGBT Youth Scotland welcomes recent recommendations on hate crime, prejudice and community cohesion, particularly the recognition of the role of education, and the value of youth work in tackling hate crime and prejudice in Scotland.

The Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice, and Community Cohesion was set up in 2015 by the Scottish Government, and published its report on Friday 23rd September, with recommendations to strengthen Scotland’s response to tackling hate crime, prejudice and community cohesion.

Brandi Lee Lough Dennell, Policy and Research Manager, LGBT Youth Scotland commented:

“From our experience of working with LGBT young people, it is often the daily concerns over discrimination that affect an individual’s ability to fully express themselves or live freely. Prejudice and discrimination that do not constitute a hate crime can still cause daily worry, stress or fear for LGBT young people, whether as a result of experiencing discrimination or simply by trying to avoid it. We therefore welcome the report’s focus on improving systems and communities.”

“Evidence from our Safety Report tells us that LGBT young people who felt accepted in the community were significantly more likely to be; employed, in education, and confident reporting hate crime to the police."

“Involving transport providers and workers in steps to improve protection for those using public transportation is a welcome recommendation, particularly as our research tells us that only half (51.8%) of transgender young people feel safe using public transport.”

“We are particularly pleased to see focus on the role of schools and education in the report, recognising the importance of the use of Curriculum for Excellence across all educational institutions to help tackle hate crime and prejudice. Our schools should be safe and welcoming places for all young people that celebrate diverse identities, including LGBT identities.”

“We also welcome the recommendation for the Scottish Government to consider extending protections under hate crime legislation to include gender and age, as well as other groups that experience high levels of discrimination, and we are delighted that there is recognition of the value of youth work in our schools and communities.”