Photo credit: David Yu
By James Reston, a Washington, DC-based researcher, whose work focuses on human rights, corruption, internet freedom, and security.
Global business leaders can reduce corruption and boost productivity by upholding LGBTI+ rights.
Even with rapid progress on LGBTI+ rights in the last decade, 69 countries still criminalize same-sex relations and 155 lack anti-discrimination protections. At the same time, 91% of Fortune 500 companies have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation – in their operations globally.
In societies without legal protections, LGBTI+ employees are under constant threat of violence, extortion by corrupt officials, and decreasing productivity due to exclusionary workplace environments. According to the United Nations, the global economy faces at least $120 billion in losses per year because of rampant discrimination against LGBTI+ people.
Personal cases of extortion are commonplace. For example, before 2003, same-sex relations in the small country of Armenia were criminalized under the country’s “Article 116,” a Soviet-era law that carried a penalty of 3 to 5 years in prison. Read More...