Screen shot 2015-06-16 at 4.03.16 PMThe Maltese government launched a new comprehensive education policy today (Tuesday, June 16) focusing on the needs of trans, gender variant and intersex children, according to a press release from the International Gay and Lesbian Association-Europe.

The policy, the first of its kind in Europe, identifies several particular needs that have to be addressed, including confidentiality, adequate facilities, support, inclusive policies, the possibility to amend documentation and access to information. It was inspire by the landmark Gender Expression, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics Act passed earlier this year, ILGA-Europe notes.

The policy is accompanied by a procedure outlining how provisions should be implemented uniformly in all schools. Both the policy and the procedure focus on issues faced by trans and intersex students in schools and how to accommodate their needs, and the policy highlights the fundamental obligation on schools to provide all students with a safe and inclusive educational environment.

Sophie Aujean, senior policy and and programmes officer for ILGA-Europe, said the exciting thing about the Maltese policy is that it can pave the way for similar policies in other countries. She noted that  the countries don’t need to have something like the GEGISC Act in place to adopt a similar education policy.

Malta is currently ranked third overall in IGLA-Europe’s 2015 Rainbow Europe list, up from 11th place last year.  Check out the Rainbow Europe web module here.