International LGBT+ Rights
PCS is committed to promoting equality, human rights and respect for our LGBT+ members and the wider LGBT community both within the UK and around the world.
Why does international equality matter?
Solidarity is at the heart of trade unionism and our union is committed to promoting and defending workers rights both in the UK and around the world, working with several international federations and organisations to promote our unions policy on key issues, including human rights.
For LGBT+ PCS members these issues are important as, for many, their job can involve travelling overseas, on both a short term and long term basis, which can potentially put them in harms way, for example an employer posting an LGBT+ member of staff to a country which criminalises being openly LGBT+.
PCS opposes all forms of discrimination, bullying, harassment and violence, including against lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender individuals and is committed to working with employers to ensure our members safety while supporting grassroots activists based overseas in campaigning for improved LGBT+ equality globally.
Today more than 70 countries criminalise their LGBT+ citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity around the world, including the death penalty in some countries. In addition many others enforce laws which seek to prevent local LGBT+ communities from campaigning or even meeting.
PCS Annual Delegate Conference in 2017 unanimously passed Emergency Motion A303 in response to reports from the Russian region of Chechnya where men believed to be gay or bisexual were being detained, beaten and potentially murdered.
Conference agreed that our Union should support those organisations operating in the region to campaign against these brutal human rights violations which has been ongoing through our international trade union links as well as international affiliates.
Commonwealth Games 2022
Around half of those countries criminalising LGBT citizens are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, most having had anti LGBT+ laws introduced in the days of the British colonies.
With the UK scheduled to host the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, PCS believes this offers an opportunity to highlight and campaign against these attitudes as part of an organised campaign during the Games.
Our union submitted a motion to the 2018 TUC LGBT+ Conference calling for the planning of a trade union wide campaign ahead of and during the Games in 2022 and will work with Trade Union colleagues to ensure this is enacted ahead of the Games.