International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: Speak up together against violence and harassment

May 17, 2018

Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to make it easier for workers to report harassment and violence by implementing anti-reprisal measures, including whistleblower protection. This will make it safer for LGBTQ2SI workers to report harassment and violence in the workplace, without fear of reprisal, discrimination or stigma.

“Violence and harassment should never be part of the job. It’s time for our government to commit to ensuring that any worker who experiences homophobic and transphobic harassment and violence has the support they need,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB), marking the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders and illnesses.

Canada’s unions have long championed LGBTQ2SI rights and safe and healthy workplaces, free from discrimination, violence and harassment. However, homophobia, transphobia and biphobia continue to affect LGBTQ2SI workers on the job and in communities. According to Statistics Canada, 13% of police-reported hate crimes in 2016 were motivated by hatred based on sexual orientation.

“LGBTQ2SI workers face more barriers when it comes to reporting these crimes and accessing support services to deal with the impact of violence and harassment,” said Yussuff.

Later this month, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will begin negotiations for a new labour standard on violence and harassment in the workplace. Trade unions from around the world will be pushing for an inclusive standard to protect all workers and address the full spectrum of workplace violence and harassment.

The CLC is calling on Canada’s government to champion a standard that will protect workers who experience harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.

“With leadership, education and action from our federal government, we can end harassment and violence and make workplaces safe for all workers, regardless of their sexuality or their gender identity and expression,” said Yussuff.

Add your voice and speak up against violence and harassment.

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