The government is being encouraged to improve Malta’s track record on recognising the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community.

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Alternattiva Demokratika and LGBT Labour urged the government to grant homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals equal rights and opportunities.

Studies reveal a significant percentage of these young people are victims of bullying because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender, according to the Malta Gay Rights Group.

“It is unfortunate that the new national curriculum framework fails to make any specific reference to issues that most affect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students,” it said.

This year’s focus is homo­phobia, biphobia and transphobia in education as schools should be safe spaces for all students. Research shows policies directly addressing gender orientation bullying make schools safer, the organisations say.

Moviment Graffitti says it is unacceptable to witness so many crimes related to sexual orientation and gender identity in countries such as Turkey, which should crack down if its bid to join the EU is to be taken seriously.