IDAHOBIT 2024: LGBTI rights are trade union rights!


As the world commemorates the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), ETUCE together with other European trade union federations, underscores the imperative nature of recognising LGBTI rights as fundamental human rights and essential components of trade union advocacy. In view of the upcoming European elections, trade union federations’ Joint Statement serves as a resolute condemnation of any attempts to scapegoat LGBTI workers for the economic and social failures of governments. It urges European policymakers to prioritise the protection and promotion of LGBTI rights, emphasising the need for political parties and future Members of the European Parliament to integrate these rights into their electoral campaigns and legislative agendas.

The recent findings from the Fundamental Rights Agency's (FRA) EU LGBTIQ Survey starkly highlight the pervasive discrimination faced by LGBTI+ individuals, particularly in the workplace. The survey reveals that twice as many respondents reported feeling discriminated against at work (18%) compared to when looking for work (9%). This discrimination is exacerbated by various intersecting factors, including lower educational attainment, socioeconomic status, migrant status, and disability.

Education should provide opportunities for change and promote the positive inclusion of LGBTI persons in the society. However, the FRA report shows that despite increased efforts to address LGBTIQ issues in European schools, the reality remains troubling. Over two-thirds of respondents reported being bullied at school, marking a significant increase from previous years. This alarming trend underscores the urgent need for concerted action to combat discrimination and foster safer learning environments for all students and education personnel, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In response to these challenges, education trade unions join their comrades worldwide to reaffirm their commitment to campaigning, lobbying, and promoting increased awareness of LGBTI non-discrimination and equality. They pledge to challenge existing stereotypes and provide unwavering support to LGBTI teachers, academics, and education personnel. Moreover, education trade unions demand greater accountability from education employers to ensure safe, secure, and healthy working environments for LGBTI individuals, as protection from violence at work is enshrined in European Occupational Health and Safety regulations and International Labour Organization’s Convention 190.

See the joint statement of European Trade Union Federations here : Statement

Learn more about ETUCE policy on LGBTI rights: ETUCE Action Plan onE quality, Diversity and Inclusion and Strategy for Implementation

Get inspired by education trade unions good practices on promoting and protecting LGBTI rights: ETUCE Database of Good Practices (