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New resources to support LGBT staff and students working abroad

SophieVinter14 July 2016

The charity Stonewall has launched a set of Global Workplace Briefings to support LGBT employees travelling overseasForty per cent of the world’s population live in countries where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people can be imprisoned, just for being themselves.

UK charity Stonewall is fighting to change this and has launched a set of Global Workplace Briefings open to UCL staff and students to access the latest information.

UCL has a history of opening up education to people previously excluded from it, and was the first UK university to join Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champion programme for international employers, helping to promote equality around the world.

The new Global Workplace Briefings shine a spotlight on the situation for LGBT people in different countries, which will enable UCL staff and students planning to work overseas to keep up to date on changing laws and the potential implications.

Protecting from discrimination

In more than half the world, LGBT people are not protected from discrimination under workplace law.

The first set of briefings, which are available via UCL’s Equalities website, cover Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey.

Further briefings will follow later this year.

Each briefing outlines the legal, socio-cultural and workplace situation for LGBT people in the specified country and showcases progressive workplace practices from Stonewall’s membership.

They provide an important summary of in-country contexts for global mobility teams, helping them to identify where colleagues may need additional support when travelling internationally.

Supporting UCL’s LGBTQ community

Dr Fiona Leigh, a member of UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group (LEAG), said UCL is now working further with Stonewall to produce additional briefings specifically for those working within higher education.

She said: “UCL is committed to providing resources and information for the safety and support of all of our staff and students, when travelling and working internationally.

“These briefings provide a very useful background in this endeavour, whether for LGBT staff or students or those supporting others with international visits.”

UCL is the first university to join new Global Diversity Champions programme

KerryMilton11 August 2014

University College London has become the first university to join Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champion programme.

The university has 11,000 international students from 154 countries as well as campuses in Australia and Qatar.

It is illegal to be gay in 78 countries and punishable by death in five. Employment protections exist for LGB people in only a quarter of the countries in the world. Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champions programme gives organisations the network and expertise to ensure they are kept informed of changing laws and the implications for staff and students.

stonewall-global-diversity-champion-logo

UCL’s Vice Provost International, Nicola Brewer said, “I’m delighted that UCL became, earlier this year, the first university to sign up to Stonewall’s new programme to enable global organisations – like UCL, London’s Global University – to effectively support their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff wherever they are in the world. UCL has a history of opening up education to people previously excluded. Our International Strategy needs to be infused with that liberal tradition, and we welcome Stonewall’s support to help us achieve that.”

Stonewall’s Head of Workplace, Simon Feeke, said, “Too many members of staff and students turn down chances to work or study abroad because they’re scared that their sexual orientation prohibits them. It’s inspiring to see UCL engaging with Stonewall and other organisations to promote equality around the world. This will benefit lesbian, gay and bisexual people who work and study with UCL as well as people around the world.”

For more information about Stonewall and its Global Diversity Champions programme, visit the website