International Day against homophobia and transphobia: ensure justice and protection for LGBTI workers (ILO)
On the occasion of International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (today, 17 May), ILO Director-General Guy Ryder says that a human-centred future of work that leaves no-one behind must include LGBTI workers.
Guy Ryder about LGBTI workers
Fifty years ago riots broke out on the streets of New York in protest at the discrimination and violence faced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community at the time. Known as the Stonewall riots, these events are now remembered as one of the most important historical moments in the fight for LGBTI rights.
We’ve seen significant progress since then, with some 80 countries passing laws prohibiting discrimination based on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. However, the rate of progress is too slow and is, in some cases, regressing. The reality is that 50 years on from the Stonewall riots, many LGBTI people continue to face high levels of discrimination, violence, harassment, persecution and stigma, including in the workplace.
Despite some progressive laws and policies, LGBTI workers often find themselves without legal redress because of prohibitive costs, drawn-out legal procedures, or lack of trust in the system. In effect they are denied justice and protection.
If we truly want a human-centred future of work that leaves no-one behind we must include LGBTI workers. We must also ensure that laws and policies do not criminalize LGBTI workers on the grounds of who they love and who they are.
The ILO’s social justice mandate underpins its commitment to Decent Work. However, Decent Work can only exist in conditions of freedom and dignity. It means embracing inclusion and diversity. It requires us to stand up against all forms of stigma and discrimination.
We must work together and step up the pace to ensure justice and protection for all, particularly those in our societies who are most vulnerable to discrimination. Click here for further information.