International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – 17 May 2017

A large proportion of LGBT people hide their sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace, according to research carried out by Eurofound. 17 May is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia #IDAHOT, aimed at raising awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulating interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.

Issues related to LGBTI people have been on the political agenda of the European Union for some time. The EU proposed in December 2015 a List of Actions to advance LGBT Equality, after failing to adopt the LGBTI equality strategy. In June 2016, the European Council adopted for the first time ever conclusions on LGBTI equality, requiring the European Commission to report annually on the implementation of the list of actions. The first report was published in February 2017.

Eurofound published a short report in 2016 concentrating on the working conditions of LGBT people in European workplaces and initiatives that tackle this issue. The findings indicate that a large proportion of LGBT people hide their sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace. Those who express their identity openly face obstacles in accessing employment and experience harassment in employment. Governments, social partners, NGOs and other actors have undertaken initiatives to tackle this problem. However, relatively few initiatives were found in countries with generally negative attitudes towards LGBT.

Eurofound has also published three articles where it looked closely at initiatives promoting LGBTI equality in the workplace

Germany: Initiatives by ver.di to support LGBTI workers

Germany: VK initiatives to improve diversity management in the workplace

Denmark: Greater acceptance of LGBT colleagues in female-dominated workplaces

Our colleagues in the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) looked into how asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity are assessed and whether there are specific reception measures for LGBTI persons.

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