Increasing employer knowledge about the prohibition of discrimination and increasing respect for diversity are imperative for an equitable work environment and a key factor for a successful business, noted the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Janković at the opening of a conference held on 11 October for presenting the UN Standard of Corporate Behaviour in Combating the Discrimination of LGBTI Persons.
The Commissioner clearly noted that an employer must have a responsible and ethical relationship towards all that his business can affect, overcoming its primary function of acquiring and dividing profits and paying attention to the natural and social environment it operates in. Since many surveys have shown that LGBT persons often face prejudice and alienation in their immediate environment, the commissioner emphasized the importance of preventing discrimination and stated that many successful companies find ways to create an equitable working environment, where respect for differences among staff contributes to good interpersonal relationships and increased productivity. The Commissioner stated that the practice of the institutions shows that citizens most frequently report discrimination in the field of labour and employment. This has led to the publishing of the Code of Equality – Practical Guidelines for the Implementation of Anti-Discrimination Regulations for Employers last year, accepted and applied by many companies in Serbia in their business operations.
Through the presentation of the UN Standards for Corporate Behaviour in Combating the Discrimination of LGBT Persons, also guided by leading international principles of doing business and human rights, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality has gained an important partner in the United Nations for working on improving equality in the field of labour and employment, concluded Janković.
Presentations were also held at the conference by Fabrice Houdart, representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Karla Hershey, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Serbia, Dragana Jovanović Arijas, Manager of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Jasna Plavšić from the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, representatives of the companies Hemofarm and Ernest & Young, and representatives of national and international organizations for the protection of the rights of LGBT persons.
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