Frame policies to protect LGBTIQ+ workers, says ILO

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Frame policies to protect LGBTIQ+ workers, says ILO

  • A document released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on “Inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons in the world of work” recommended member countries, employers’ organisations and representatives of workers to launch social protection programmes to remove barriers that LGBTIQ+ persons face in society.

About ILO

  • The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States.
  • It set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

Discrimination highlighted:

  • Discrimination has an economic cost not just to LGBTIQ+ persons and their families but also to enterprises and national economies.
  • Around the world, LGBTIQ+ persons face harassment, violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.

Recommendations by ILO:

  • National policy and labour law review will allow governments to assess their country’s work policy environment for LGBTIQ+ persons.
  • This will allow the identification of concrete steps for improving the legal and policy environment, ending discrimination and exclusions, and complying with international instruments,.
  • Consultation with LGBTIQ+ communities and social dialogue with employers’ and workers’ organisations are key.
  • This will allow the identification of barriers faced by LGBTIQ+ persons when entering the labour market and accessing government schemes, including those on social protection.
  • Governments should work with small and medium industry associations, sectoral unions and informal economy workers’ associations to monitor discrimination in the informal economy and address stigma and discrimination related to gender and sexual identity.
  • Encouraging employers’ organisations to end sexual discrimination at workplaces will make business sense to work on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the workplace.

Workplace diversity

  • Diversity in the workplace, including LGBTIQ+ persons, is better for business.
  • It signals a creative environment that creates the right conditions for economic growth.
  • Employers’ organisations can provide policy guidance to their members, undertake advocacy and raise awareness on including LGBTIQ+ persons in workplaces, promote social dialogue and collective bargaining, and facilitate learning and sharing of good practices among members
  • Trade unions should help LGBTIQ+ workers to organise and exercise their right to freedom of association.
  • Workers’ associations can also ensure that issues affecting LGBTIQ+ workers are represented in collective bargaining agreements with employers and in workplace policies and other tools.

Exam track

Prelims Takeaway

  • LGBTQ+ Rights
  • ILO
  • Welfare Schemes for LGBTQ+ in India