The Forum Supports the UN Standards of Conduct for Business

  • Created : Nov, 20, 2017
  • Last Updated: Feb, 08, 2018

Released last month, the UN report, produced in collaboration with the Institute for Human Rights and Business, builds on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and reflects the input of hundreds of companies across diverse sectors.

According to The Forum spokesperson, Teveshan Kuni the UN report is a fundamental step in the right direction.

“Across the globe, employers are starting to understand the importance of inclusive hiring,” says Kuni. “A report like this goes a long way to help normalise the conversation in the workplace around employees from the LGBTQI+ community.”

The UN Standards of Conduct for Business states:

At All Times

  1. RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS. Businesses should develop policies, exercise due diligence, and remediate adverse impacts to ensure they respect human rights of LGBTI people. Businesses should also establish mechanisms to monitor and communicate about their compliance with human rights standards.

In the Workplace

  1. ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION. Businesses should ensure that there is no discrimination in their recruitment, employment, working conditions, benefits, respect for privacy, or treatment of harassment.
  2. PROVIDE SUPPORT. Businesses should provide a positive, an affirmative environment so that LGBTI employees can work with dignity and without stigma.

In the Marketplace

  1. PREVENT OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. Businesses should not discriminate against LGBTI suppliers, distributors or customers, and should use their leverage to prevent discrimination and related abuses by their business partners.

In the Community

  1. ACT IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE. Businesses are encouraged to contribute to stopping human rights abuses in the countries in which they operate. In doing so, they should consult with local communities to identify steps they might take — including public advocacy, collective action, social dialogue, support for LGBTI organizations, and challenging abusive government actions.

Kuni goes on to say that in many conservative nations, the report can be seen as a big ask, but adds, that for now, organisations like The Forum need to exist to integrate this new way of thinking into corporate culture.

“Gone are the days where business leaders can ignore the wellbeing of its employees. In South Africa, especially we are sensitised to race, gender and people with disabilities and now we need to apply this same level of sensitivity to members of the LGBT+* community as well.”

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