Bangkok, 20 May 2022: To mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) 2022, UNDP Thailand in partnership with the Australian Embassy and the Netherlands Embassy hosted a conference to raise awareness about the important role the private sector plays in addressing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people, and promoting diversity and inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.
Employment discrimination against LGBTI people is a prevalent but silent issue in Thailand. Addressing homophobia, transphobia, biphobia is a particularly pressing priority as COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities, including for LGBTI persons. Experts reveal that one of the common patterns of discrimination against LGBTI people is the lack of inclusive HR policies. When discrimination in the workplace occurs, there is often a lack of mechanisms in place to handle complaints. Consequently, some LGBTI people feel compelled to resign from their jobs due to stressful working environments.
This important conference brought together representatives from government agencies, the private sector, civil society organizations, UN agencies and the diplomatic community in Bangkok. The conference participants explored what companies in Thailand can do to promote and implement LGBTI inclusion.
"UNDP looks forward to partnering with many in finding durable and sustainable solutions with employers, with people from the LGBTI community and all those who are willing to support this issue. We are committed to leave no one behind as Thailand recovers from COVID-19 and moves forward on a path towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals." said Renaud Meyer, Resident Representative of UNDP in Thailand
“The Netherlands is actively committed to fight discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people and promoting social acceptance around the world. Many of us spend a big part of our life at the workplace. Being able to be who you are at work is essential for mental health, job satisfaction and performance. It was very interesting to hear how frontrunners in the Thai business community are leading by example in creating inclusive workplaces where everyone can thrive. The business case for Diversity and Inclusion at the workplace is clear. But in the real world, it can be a challenge to implement policies to make the workplace LGBTIQ+ inclusive. By bringing employers and employees, regulators and civil society together today, I hope we made this goal easier to reach.” said H.E. Remco-van Wijngaarden, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
“The Australian Embassy in Bangkok is delighted to partner with UNDP and the Netherlands Embassy on promoting diversity and inclusion. This is central to Australia’s values – we are proud of our diversity and see it as an asset and strength. We commend the private sector and LGBTQI+ community in Thailand for working together to further this important agenda” said Julia Feeney, Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission concluded.
"C.P. Group has issued a number of policies as a foundation of our actions, such as the policy on anti-discrimination, the policy on diversity and inclusion, the broad-based human rights policy and Code of Conduct. We believe that our scope and scale will contribute significantly to the advancement of LGBTI+ rights in Thailand and everywhere we operate. C.P. Group stands ready to work with our partners and stakeholders on this important issue." said Dr. Netithorn Praditsarn, Executive Assistant to Group CEO and Senior Vice President, Global Partnership for Sustainability and Communications of Charoen Pokphand Group Co., Ltd.
In line with this year’s IDAHOT theme “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights”, we will continue to address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and call for more inclusive and sustainable workplaces.
For Press Release in Thai, read here.
For further information or questions, please contact:
Public Diplomacy Manager, Australian Embassy Thailand
Suparnee Jay Pongruengphant
Project Manager – Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, UNDP Thailand
Deputy Head of Economic and Political Affairs, Netherlands Embassy
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