Joint Statement for International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

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Joint statement from European Trade Union Federations and ETUC for IDAHOBIT

On  17 May, the European trade union movement celebrates the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). On this day, we remind ourselves and  European policymakers that LGBTI+ rights are fundamental human and trade union rights.

We praise the progress made during recent decades to advance the rights of LGBTI+ workers at the workplace through collective bargaining and beyond, such as the right to family lives through equal rights for same-sex couples. However, these achievements are now put in question or even pushed back by right-wing and populist movements across Europe. This applies to both countries where LGBTI+ human rights legislation is more advanced, as well as countries that are in the early stages of the struggle.

We condemn any attacks on the LGBTI+ community and remind people that “an injury to one is an injury to all”. It is injury to trade unions, all workers and entire communities. We condemn attempts to make LGBTI+ workers scapegoats for the economic and social failures of governments. There cannot be inclusive communities or inclusive workplaces without support and inclusion for LGBTI+ people. With particular attention, we underline the need for the protection of the rights of our transgender workers who have increasingly been targets of attacks by politicians and co-workers.

To that end, we call on the political parties and the future Members of the European Parliament to protect and promote LGBTI+ rights in their electoral campaigns and future work. We demand that the EU and  candidate countries  work together to ensure freedom, safety and equality for every LGBTI+ person in the EU and beyond, including defending LGBTI+ rights in the EU external policies. The European Parliament, along with the new Commission, should both play a pivotal role in that respect.

Finally, we are very concerned about  workplace related violence and harassment targeting LGBTI+ people, including online attacks. Some European trade unions are conducting negotiations with European employers organisations to protect workers from  third- party violence and harassment (TPVH) by updating the relevant guidelines.  It is the obligation of  employers to ensure safe and healthy working environments and to protect workers from third-party violence and harassment. We underline that protection from violence at work is a fundamental workers’ right and enshrined in European Occupational Health and Safety regulations and International Labour Organization’s Convention 190.

Recently ILGA-Europe, the European network of organisations of the LGBT+ community published a report on the violence members of the community experience. And the European Fundamental Rights Agency came out with the results of its survey on the discrimination and harassment the LGBT+ community experiences

FIA has also published the alarming results of its Global Survey on Discrimination and Harassment Against LGBTQ+ Performers. The report concludes with a series of recommendations from the FIA Rainbow Group to the federation and its members.

You can download the full statement in PDF format here: IDAHOBIT Joint Statement EN

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