LGBTIQ people have been hit hard by COVID-19. Here’s how we can provide support

love is love

(Yoav Hornung, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Tiernan Madorno, Business Program Manager and Worldwide Pride Co-Director, Microsoft & Elise Colomer-Cheadle, Director of Corporate Engagement, OutRight Action International & Salah Husseini, Associate Director, Human Rights, BSR


  • The world’s LGBTIQ communities have been hit disproportionately hard by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • A new emergency fund has been launched in response to the pandemic’s impacts on LGBTIQ people.
  • Here are the details – and how companies can help.

In 2019, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities around the world filled city streets for LGBTIQ Pride. They were celebrating the incredible – though incomplete – progress achieved in reclaiming the equal rights of LGBTIQ people since the Stonewall Riots, 50 years previously.

In stark contrast, this year’s Pride festivities were canceled or moved to virtual platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and LGBTIQ communities, like other vulnerable groups, have been hit hard by the crisis. Despite the milestones achieved and celebrated during Pride, it is critical to recognize that LGBTIQ communities around the world remain as vulnerable as ever.

 

COVID-19 has exposed many of the structural and systemic issues disproportionately impacting marginalized populations, including people of colour, LGBTIQ people, older people, refugees, migrants and more, who have been hit hardest by both coronavirus and the associated social distancing measures. The LGBTIQ community, for example, has suffered from limited access to and de-prioritization of healthcare services, stigma and discrimination, violence and abuse, and a decrease in access to work during this crisis, as highlighted by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. These barriers existed prior to the pandemic, but were quickly exacerbated as LGBTIQ people sought protections and support in what has amounted to a full-blown humanitarian crisis for our communities.

In response to the severe impact of COVID-19 on LGBTIQ communities around the world, and the inequalities it has exposed, the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE), a collaborative initiative of BSR in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and UN Human Rights, along with our NGO partner OutRight Action International, launched the COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund. Established by OutRight with support from founding partner Microsoft, the Fund supports LGBTIQ organizations and groups on the frontlines of the pandemic in the global South, addressing a range of humanitarian needs such as emergency food and/or shelter, access to safe and competent healthcare, safety and security, and financial stability.

Throughout Pride Month and beyond, the Fund will continue to mobilize private sector support, giving companies, including WEF members, an opportunity to reallocate resources in light of cancelled or streamlined Pride events, and corporate commitments to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, including LGBTIQ and racial justice. Prioritizing financial support to diverse, global LGBTIQ communities and advocating with and on their behalves are concrete steps that the business community can take to empower LGBTIQ movement leaders in the countries in which companies operate, which can ultimately ensure the survival and long-term viability of local partners leading grassroots efforts to tackle discrimination against LGBTIQ people. Such action is in line with the principles outlined in the UN Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination Against LGBTI People (the UN Standards), which established the framework for PGLE’s activities. Companies interested in becoming supporters of the UN Standards can visit the PGLE website to learn more.

Civil Society

What is the Forum doing to boost inclusion for LGBTI people?

Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity not only violates universal basic human rights, it also adversely impacts the long-term economic prospects of individuals, businesses and countries.

An initiative of the World Economic Forum, the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE) leverages the power of business to promote LGBTI equality and inclusion in the workplace and take wider responsibility not just for the impact they have on their employees lives but also on the broader communities in which they operate.

closeup of a young caucasian man waving a small rainbow flag against a rustic blue wooden background
Discrimination against members of the LGBTI community continues to affect millions of people worldwide every day
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

PGLE partners work together to:

  • Operationalize the five United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination Against LGBTI People by providing a due-diligence framework, tools and resources for companies to advance and implement LGBTI inclusion globally (see here)
  • Provide a peer to peer learning platform connecting committed business leaders through the World Economic Forum in accelerating LGBTI workplace inclusion and promoting human rights for all
  • Share best practices and benchmarks to assist companies in meeting their commitments and responsibilities to global LGBTI equality.

Follow the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality and help us advance this agenda, protecting and promoting human rights in the workplace.

Contact us to become a member or partner of the Forum.

The private sector currently has a unique opportunity to drive impactful change for LGBTIQ people around the world, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We have an opportunity to mobilize a different kind of Pride campaign this year, one focused on fulfilling the vision of the UN Standards and providing essential financial support at a time where LGBTIQ communities and nonprofits are facing an acute threat to their health and well-being. For millions, Pride has always been a celebration of survival from persecution and discrimination. This year, the sentiment is even more urgent, and we all must come together to strengthen our collective commitment and act towards a more inclusive, tolerant and supportive world for all.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

No barriers to free flow of non-personal data in the EU

Gender parity has a huge role to play in the fight to save our oceans

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

‘End the ongoing atrocities’ against people with albinism in Malawi, say UN rights experts

This entrepreneur is helping farmers get food to consumers during lockdown

Get out, stay out: how financial resilience helps end poverty

New UN poverty report reveals ‘vast inequalities’ between countries

Czech PM should resolve his conflict of interest as a matter of urgency say MEPs

Global hunger is on the rise. These simple steps could help eradicate it

The EU checks the multinationals for tax fraud but Britain may sail out of the EU via Panama

New UN Global Climate report ‘another strong wake-up call’ over global warming: Guterres

EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

These chefs are fighting hunger and poverty with gastronomy

‘Ticking bomb’ health warning over deteriorating conditions facing Cyclone Idai victims

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

It takes far too long for a rare disease to be diagnosed. Here’s how that can change

How Jack Ma sees a thriving future of entrepreneurship in Africa

How to create a world where healthcare is a right, not a luxury

Food safety: more transparency, better risk prevention

Why the West supports the yen’s devaluation and Japanese over-indebtedness

World in grip of ‘high impact weather’ as US freezes, Australia sizzles, parts of South America deluged

Women in video games: ‘Accept it, or don’t buy the game’

Human Rights Council election: 5 things you need to know about it

Peru should help more young vulnerable people into work

COVID-19: Both WHO and Europe must learn from the current pandemic, say MEPs

Better air pollution data is helping us all breathe easier. Here’s how

Does the “climate change” require ombudsman services for environment?

Digital technology helped create the skills gap. Here’s how it can help close it

Did young people just kill television?

Restoring prospect of peace in Middle East is ‘our shared responsibility’ UN envoy tells Security Council

‘We will not give up on looking for peace for South Sudan’: UN deputy chief

EU-Turkey relations: Erdogan plays the refugee card while beefing up gas operations in the Eastern Mediterranean sea

Is Haiti better prepared for disasters, nine years on from the 2010 earthquake?

Timor-Leste Foreign Minister highlights value of UN in resolving conflicts

This new way of understanding disease is changing medicine

Asia-Pacific showing ‘decisive leadership’ on road to 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, deputy UN chief tells key forum

UN honours peacekeepers who ‘paid the ultimate price’, for the sake of others

FROM THE FIELD: Keeping Morocco’s indigenous culture and conservation in balance

THE COMMITTEES: ‘All roads lead to the Fifth’

‘Building back better’ – here’s how we can navigate the risks we face after COVID-19

Canada leading the way on women’s inclusion and empowerment, says OECD

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

Cultural Intelligence: the importance of changing perspectives

Central banking in times of complexity

Here’s how sustainable aviation fuel can take off in Europe

The European Council takes more measures to stem illegal migration

Legendary Harlem Globetrotters slam-dunk at the UN, with message that brings families, nations together

Eastern Partnership: Commission proposes new policy objectives for beyond 2020

ILO and EIB join forces for more and better quality employment

5 things you need to know about water

France-Germany: Divided in Europe, USA united in…Iran

‘Don’t forget Madagascar’s children’, UN appeals for long-term help as emergency worsens

EU Budget 2019: focus on the young, on migration and innovation

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

Take action on air pollution to save lives, and the planet, urges UN chief

‘Pioneering’ former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet officially appointed new UN human rights chief

Parliament ready to fight for a different EU budget

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: prizewinning journalists freed in Myanmar, new tracking tool for suspected terrorists, and a global bid to stop snakebite deaths

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s