1 March: Stand up for Zero Discrimination against LGBT at Work

On 1 March, people around the world will be joining together to celebrate Zero Discrimination Day.

Discrimination remains widespread—gender, nationality, age, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or religion can all unfortunately be the basis for some form of discrimination. In only four out of 10 countries worldwide do equal numbers of girls and boys attend secondary school and 75 countries have laws that criminalize same-sex sexual relations.

Should trade unions care about LGBT rights? What does the workplace have to do with what a worker does on their own time?

ILO has recently conducted the PRIDE project (“Promoting Rights, Diversity and Equality”) that looks at the laws and policies in Thailand and Indonesia that shape LGBT rights in the workplace and beyond, examining discrimination at all stages of employment, including discrimination due to HIV.

The PRIDE research shows that rigid ideas about gender and sexuality are forcing people out of their workplace and preventing them from obtaining jobs. This has resulted in a large pool of qualified and talented people moving out of many formal sector enterprises. Fear of stigma was indeed a factor reported by interviewees that deters people, including LGBT people, from seeking information and services about HIV and AIDS, or take free condoms.

“On Zero Discrimination Day, stand out and stand together for the right to live free from stigma and discrimination,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “By celebrating diversity, we can transform the future.”

Zero Discrimination Day is also an occasion to reaffirm that LGBT people are workers,conducive work environments must be created for everyone. Workplaces need to ensure zero discrimination against LGBT persons, and people living with HIV.

Protect Rights, Prevent HIV. Workers stand up for #zerodiscrimination at work.

AIDS is Everyone’s Business. Inspirational voices from employers/ private sector for #zerodiscrimination at work.

Stand up for zero discrimination against LGBT at Work. http://wp.me/p2LNBg-oJ #zerodiscrimination

Oleysa was humiliated and fired when boss found out she was HIV+. @sharonstone tells her story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTDK2DzWtUs #zerodiscrimination

People living with HIV experience unemployment rates 3x higher than average. Stand up for #zerodiscrimination at work.

#ZeroDiscrimination means all people living with #HIV can work and provide for themselves with dignity.

No discrimination against workers on the grounds of real or perceived HIV status. Implement the ILO #R.20

Protect rights at work, prevent HIV. #Getting to zero at work.