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Davos: UN rights chief stresses leading role of businesses in ending LGBTI discrimination

Davos: UN rights chief stresses leading role of businesses in ending LGBTI discrimination

India Blooms News Service | | 27 Jan 2018, 07:35 am

New York, Jan 27 (JEN): With major companies joining the growing list of early adopters of United Nations standards to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, the UN human rights chief on Friday highlighted the private sector's crucial leadership role in ensuring the dignity and equal opportunities of LGBTI employees in the workplace and beyond.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that “companies that take action to end discrimination and support LGBTI communities can be a motor for change.”

The standards, developed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), draw on good practice from around the world, setting out actions that can be taken by employers.

These include eliminating unfair treatment against LGBTI people in the workplace, making sure business operations do not contribute to discrimination against customers, suppliers or members of the public, and working with business partners to address discriminatory practices up and down the supply chain.

They also encourage companies to stand up for the rights of LGBTI people in the countries where they operate – including through advocacy and support for local organizations.

“These standards provide the most comprehensive set of benchmarks for responsible corporate behaviour on LGBTI issues. A company of any nationality, size and location or sector can find no better vehicle to correct inequities and end discrimination brought about by prejudice,” Zeid said.

The High Commissioner was speaking at a panel discussion titled “Free and Equal: Standing Up for Diversity”, which also included Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group Chief Executive Officer, and Jin Xing, Choreographer and Founder of the Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai, and was moderated by Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief, of The Economist magazine.

The Standards of Conduct build on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. They are the product of a year-long process of consultations facilitated by the OHCHR and the Institute for Human Rights and Business.

Nineteen more companies have joined a growing list of early adopters, including Airbnb, Airbus, AXA, Barilla, Bloomberg L.P., Cisco Systems Inc., Gol, Hermes Investment Management, Lloyd's, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics - North America, Marriott International, MAS Holdings, Nasdaq, New York Life, Santander Group, Tesco, Trillium Asset Management, Unilever, Vert Asset Management, and Xerox.

Photo: World Economic Forum/Jakob Polacsek

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm