Athens, October 5 2022


Subject: «Complaint of a racist incident at a Public Vocational Training Institute (RVTI) in Aigaleo Attica, due to gender identity – We call on the Ministry of Education to take immediate measures to protect LGBTI+ people in the field of Education»

The Greek Transgender Support Association (GTSA), is a voluntary non-governmental organization that promotes the rights and freedoms of trans, gender-diverse and LGBTQI persons in general, with this press release, complaints in a strong way, publicly, the racist abominable behavior of teachers, as well as the vice-principal, on the basis of the gender identity of a trans woman, who wanted to study in a public PVTI in Aigaleo Attica.

Specifically, according to the complaint of the trans woman and member of the GTSA:

“On Friday, September 30, 2022 at 3:00 p.m., I went to the public PVTI in Aigaleo, in order to complete the process of my transfer application.
At the Secretariat of the PVTI, I addressed a lady who – as she stated – was a Sociologist who performed secretarial support duties. I explained to her that I am trans person and that regardless of the gender and name on my public records, I identify as female and told her my preferred name.
In the same place was a teacher who, when he heard me, looked at me strangely, while at the same time looking at the details of my documents, he characteristically replied: “Whatever your ID says, that’s what we’ll call you here”, while at the same time throughout our conversation, he referred to me in the male pronouns, male gender and name, while referring to meloudly, publicly in front of others as “student”, again in male pronouns.
I repeated to him as politely as possible that I am a trans woman and that he should respect my gender identity and call me by my preferred name and gender, but he was adamant.
At some point, a gentleman came to the Secretariat’s office who – according to his own statement – is the vice-principal of the PVTI.
I told him the whole incident while I was already in a very bad psychological state.
He looked at me ironically, the expression on his face as soon as it was mentioned that I am a trans woman, oozing malice and hatred. “Listen to me…”, he told me imperatively, “we here don’t want such problems, if you like it well, if you don’t like it, you leave”, while then he characteristically said to me: “and now leave because we also have work, we won’t dealing with you, there are other people waiting in the queue…”.
I left the PVTI in a very bad psychological state, while I communicated the incident with the Greek Transgender Support Association of which I am a regular member, while at the same time I also spoke to a psychologist in order to get psychological support, due to the abuse I suffered.”

We should note that the reference, and indeed the intentional and knowing reference, to the wrong gender and name, stigmatizes and abuses trans persons and constitutes abhorrent violence for reasons of gender identity, as it questions their identity status, endangers the protection of their personality as an integral element of the personality of trans people is their gender identity, it is a cultural and structural violence that leads to physical violence against trans people, while it is directed against a group of people who suffer the most from discrimination, exclusion and violence.

Transphobia, bullying, insults, non-acceptance of gender identity and discrimination in the field of education, as evidenced by the dozens of incidents we record and some of which are made public, are on the rise in our country.

We remind you of a racist incident in a school in Ilion, Attica, due to gender expression, where a teacher took out of the class a gender-diverse child who is a student to that school, because was wearing a skirt, calling the child “Shame of society”.

According to the new Report of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), LGBTQI+ students continue to face “intolerant and discriminatory attitudes at school, including by teachers”.

The GTSA has recorded many complaints and testimonies of transandgender-diverse persons who reportincidents of discrimination, bullying, isolation, and even racist violence in the field of education.

Typical example is the case recorded in 2012, of a trans student who was subjected to violence at school, to the point that she was in danger of being burned alive, as well as 2 cases of trans women that the school principal did not want to register them in a night high school.

In fact, in the case of the trans student, following a relevant appeal made by the Greek Transgender Support Association to the Ombudsman, in its conclusion stated that the school principal should comply with the restoration of a normal atmosphere in the school and take the following actions: a)the use of the name that she prefers in her relations with her classmates and teachers,b)her female clothing preferences, as long as they do not exceed the limits of decency that apply to other female students and c)the use of the women’s toilet.

These should be taken into account:

1.Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity . Chapter VI. Education

[…] 31. Taking into due account the over-riding interests of the child, member states should take appropriate legislative and other measures, addressed to educational staff and pupils, to ensure that the right to education can be effectively enjoyed without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; this includes, in particular, safeguarding the right of children and youth to education in a safe environment, free from violence, bullying, social exclusion or other forms of discriminatory and degrading treatment related to sexual orientation or gender identity.
32. Taking into due account the over-riding interests of the child, appropriate measures should be taken to this effect at all levels to promote mutual tolerance and respect in schools, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This should include providing objective information with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity, for instance in school curricula and educational materials, and providing pupils and students with the necessary information, protection and support to enable them to live in accordance with their sexual orientation and gender identity. Furthermore, member states may design and implement school equality and safety policies and action plans and may ensure access to adequate anti-discrimination training or support and teaching aids. Such measures should take into account the rights of parents regarding education of their children. […]

2.Guidelines of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on Discrimination, School Bullying and Harassment, (Article 5).


[…] Article 5. Promote respect for and inclusion of homosexuals, lesbians and transgender persons in education and cultivate objective knowledge on issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity in schools and other educational institutions.

3.Resolution 2417/2022 “Combating rising hate against LGBTI people in Europe”of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe

[…] 14. The Assembly emphasises that it is precisely when hostility is high or rising that effective criminal provisions and anti-discrimination legislation are most crucial. It calls on member States to strengthen their legislative framework wherever necessary to ensure that it protects the rights of LGBTI people to be free from Resolution 2417 (2022) 2 hatred and discrimination, and to apply it effectively in practice.
16.6 participate constructively in the periodical review process carried out by the Committee of Ministers regarding the implementation of RecommendationCM/Rec(2010)5 to member States on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity […]

In addition, according to the recommendations of the National Commission for Human Rights (GNCHR):

[…]GNCHR proposes the amendment of Law 4443/2016 which introduces a system of prohibition of direct and indirect discrimination, so that its scope is not limited to the sectors of work and employment.
In particular, it is recommended to extend the scope of application of article 3 of Law 4443/2016 regarding the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and sex characteristics in the areas:
α) education (not only vocational education), in all its levels as well as in all forms of education services provided […]

Also, as stated in the Conclusion of the Committee of the National Strategy for Equality of LGBTQI +. Chapter 1 1. Fight against discrimination against LGBTQI + persons (Education without Exclusion)

[…]In relation to transgender children and adolescents in particular, the instructions of the Ombudsman should be taken into account, who in the case of a transgender student recommended by the school authorities to recognize her gender identity in practice as a fundamental element of her personality […]
[…]An important first step in combating many problems in primary and secondary education is the drafting by the Ministry of Education of a specialized circular on the management of day-to-day issues of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics […]
[…]However, it is not enough just to issue relevant circulars and formulate the appropriate programs. Central to the educational process are of course the teachers for whom special horizontal education and training programs should be provided. Although more specific reference will be made to this section in public sector training, these programs should address all aspects of the issue: combating school violence and bullying, social and political aspects education, sex education and wider health education issues. The aim is for teachers to be able to implement relevant programs in schools, to assist their school in its goal setting, so that it acquires a tradition of inclusion in these issues, and to have the knowledge required to advise in dealing with emergencies […]

Furthermore, although sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics are not included in the legislation on equal treatment (law 4443/2016) in the field of education, in Article 3*, par. 1β, they are clearly included as field of prohibition of discrimination in the field of vocational training , while Law 3896/2010 on equal treatment on the grounds of gender, from Article 1 (Purpose) also refers to vocational training including vocational education (PVTI are included in vocational training and education), as well as in the same law (although the term is not legitimate) in Article 3 (Principle of Equal Treatment – Prohibition of discrimination) in paragraph 2βstates that: “Discrimination based on gender, also, constitutes any less favorable treatment of a person associated with gender change”. BothGreeklegislationsareimplementation – incorporationofEUlegislation. (*Article 3, paragraph 1β, Law 4443/2016: “b) access to all types and levels of professional guidance, apprenticeship, vocational training, retraining and vocational reorientation, including the acquisition of practical vocational experience.”)

Finally, we remind you that according to Article 1 of Law 4491/2017 (legal recognition of gender identity) :

Article 1: Rights of the person based on gender identity and sex characteristics
[…]1. The person has the right to recognition of gender identity as an element of personality […]

Based on the above, the GTSA calls on the State and the Ministry of Education and Religions:

1. To amend the legislation on equal treatment (Law 4443/2016), to include sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics in the field of education,

2.To undertake all the necessary legislative, administrative and other initiatives in order to fully implement the Education Chapter of the Conclusion of the Committee of the National Strategy for Equality of LGBTQI ,

3.Take legislative action to address the public dissemination, distribution or production or storage of racist material in the field of education in accordance with the recommendations of the Council of Europe, (Council of Europe, European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), Report on Greece (fifth monitoring cycle), op.cit.,p. 11-12.) 

4. To amend Law 4823/2021 (Upgrading and Evaluation of the “New School”) and to add special provisions for trans and gender diverse persons who will be allowed regardless of whether they have legally changed the registration in accordance with their gender identity: (i) the use of the name according to their gender identity, (ii) their registration according to their gender identity, and (iii) the use of toilets or locker rooms according to their gender identity, in compliance with a relevant decision of the Ombudsman where in case of a trans student proposed to the school principal, to respect her will regarding the use of the name she wants in her relationships with her classmates and teachers, her women’s clothing preferences, and the use of the women’s toilet,

5. Implement ongoing training programs on issues of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics.

The Greek Transgender Support Association:

– Declares its undivided support to the trans woman,

– Complaints in a direct and unequivocal way the homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics that prevail in the field of education,

– It is reserved for any legal action in any case where trans persons are abused in the public sphere, where among the forms of abuse and gender-based violence, misgendering clearly includes

– Requests the disciplinary control of all those involved, in order to take the appropriate sanctions for the restoration of the sense of justice in the PVTI environment and to show that offensive behaviors based on gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics are not tolerated.



15 ViktorosUgo, 10437, Athens
Trans Day Reception & Empowerment Center: Evangelistrias 6, Kallithea Athens, 17671
Tel. 210.9210 697 & 698 753 9741
Office hours for the public: Tuesday & Thursday – 12.00-20.00

http://tgender.gr –