UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore’s message to staff

on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia

Media Section
17 May 2019

NEW YORK, 17 May 2019 – Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), we stand together and commit to shaping a more diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace for all UNICEF staff members, no matter who they are or where they work.

Respect is a core value that infuses all that we do at UNICEF. Respect for difference. Respect for each other.

Respect also means creating a truly inclusive work environment, in which all staff members — no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity — feel safe to be who they are as they carry out our vital mission, across all offices and workplaces.

This is not always easy, and we have a long way to go, especially in many of our Country Offices, where LGBTI staff members or their family members can face great challenges, including harassment or intimidation, simply for being themselves. Despite progress over the years, many still feel they have to hide who they are in the workplace — that discrimination, while no longer overt in the way it once was, remains an undeniable barrier.

This is unacceptable. UNICEF is a family. We must continue striving to be a diverse and inclusive family that accepts, welcomes and celebrates all of our differences, so that every staff member can work with dignity and without stigma, and pursue a career free from discrimination and bias.

So as we mark this year’s IDAHOBIT, please join me in recommitting our organization — our proud UNICEF family — to building the truly inclusive, accepting and welcoming workplace that we all deserve and need.

As we continue serving and supporting the world’s youngest citizens, nothing less will do.