Happy International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)!

This year’s theme for 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), is:

Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights

We should all be free to claim our rights to live our sexualities and to express our gender(s) freely. This is true also in the workplace. The workplace should be free from discrimination, abuse and physical violence. It is important to take a moment, to realize that this is unfortunately not the case everywhere, in every country and every culture.

While the ILO will not tolerate such behaviour in the workplace, working and living in a country where Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is prevalent can put a strain on our colleagues, especially those living in duty stations where being LGBTIQ+ is criminalized.

The theme is also a reminder that, while the ILO has made progress and evolved to become a more diverse and inclusive workplace over the years, much more can still be done. For example, by providing more than two gender markers for our gender diverse colleagues or by better mainstream gender-inclusive language in our IGDS documents.

Of course this is a mere statement, but the hope is that with this statement we can change attitudes to further advance equality and thereby better ensure we all feel like we can belong.

The Staff Union Committee wishes all of you, whether you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) or whether you’re an ally, happy International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

You can watch the interview with Gurchaten Sandhu, our former Diversity Group Coordinator in the Staff Union – former President of UN Globe – currently Deputy Executive Director/Program Director at ILGA World – who shares his experience and perspectives.

If you would like to participate in UN-GLOBE actions, please visit their website.