World OutGames Miami Global Conference on Human Rights – Statement by trade unionists participating in the conference

Democratic trade unions, as diversity positive, progressive organizations committed to equality, equity, solidarity, social justice and positive social change, will further elaborate and deepen our work and cooperation across borders on the subject of LGBT rights.

Together with multiple allies; empowered by the proclamation, declaration and recognition of LGBT rights by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011 and the encouragement from the United Nations Human Rights Commission towards non-complying countries to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights; we will on one hand most strongly stimulate and exert pressure on, via our various democratic allies, countries and governments all over the world to act accordingly towards LGBT rights and to implement them legally.

The international trade union movement is strongly committed to the realization of all human rights, to promoting equality and solidarity within trade unions and in all societies. Unions play a key role in promoting the human rights and social inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two spirit, and intersex people in the workplace and in society more generally.

Important progress has been made in the last decades. However, the need to challenge prejudice and ignorance remains acute in some contexts, and new challenges that few could have imagined some years ago, have emerged in other contexts. Trade union members are working and living in too many countries that criminalize homosexuality or same-sex relationships, and transgender people still experience high levels of violence far too often, including violence in the world of work.

We also call for extending our solidarity to migrants and refugees, who are often victims of multiple discrimination and should be welcomed. At the same time, we call for peace and justice for all and an end to the neoliberal paradigm that puts profits over people.

We underline that HIV status affects the LGBT community in a disproportionate manner and we recommend this conference promotes and works towards the implementation of ILO Recommendation 200 and ILO Convention 111. We call for global access to public services, including public health care services for the broader community, and public services to meet the needs of the LGBT community around HIV, and for those who require gender-based medical services. We call for an end to discrimination when accessing all public services.

We will further encourage locally and worldwide all initiatives regarding protecting and strengthening LGBT rights in the professional and work environment and to inform all parties involved in order to fight inclusively against all forms of ignorance, prejudice and discrimination. We welcome the emergence of new regional networks, including in the MENA/ARAB region, the Caribbean and others and will continue to look for ways to work together.

The trade union movement has always supported global gatherings such as the Outgames and values them as an important networking and empowerment opportunity. For example, Public Services International uses this event as a platform to strengthen and broaden their network of LGBT trade union activists and allies.

We call on trade unions internationally to organize activities around the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (17 May).

This statement is supported by CUPE, SEIU Lavender Caucus and Public Services International

Source: CUPE National