Declaration of India

Preamble

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’. 

These values should apply equally to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and their Allies [+] (LGBTIQ+) people in their private lives and in working environments. On September 6th, 2018 The Indian Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Section 377 of the Indian Constitution is unconstitutional thus legalising homosexuality in India. This ruling has set the stage for ongoing reforms that will impact communities and workplaces for years to come. 

It is difficult to right a wrong by history. But we can set the course for the future. This case involves much more than decriminalising homosexuality. It is about people wanting to live with dignity.

—Indian Supreme Court Chief  Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud

Despite the progress on the judicial front, a 2023 survey by Deloitte* has shown that 34% of LGBTQ+** people in India say concerns about their personal safety are a barrier to being about at work. To ensure improvement in the workplace for LGBTIQ+ people, the Workplace Pride Foundation, The Solidarity Foundation and Pride Circle Foundation have created the Declaration of India, a call for action to all parties involved: LGBTIQ+ and non-LGBTIQ+ employees, Employers, Governments and other stakeholders in Indian society. 

The Declaration of India is based in large degree on the Declaration of Amsterdam which was created in 2011 by  Amsterdam-based Workplace Pride and which addresses a global audience. The Declaration of India, however, caters to the largest country in the world by population and acknowledges that a focused effort is required to ensure progress is made on LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. Both documents are designed to inspire employers and their employees to collaborate in ways that will benefit all stakeholders.  

As civil society organisations that are closely connected with both employers and employees in India, the Workplace Pride, Solidarity and Pride Circle Foundations are well versed in collaboration. They also know that only with concrete changes to organisational cultures and workplace practices in India can progress on LGBTIQ+ matters be ensured in the country’s complex culture.

Pictured (Lto R)Shubha Chacko (She/Her) Executive Director | Solidarity Foundation, David Pollard (He/Him) Executive Director Workplace Pride, Priyanka Shetty (She/Her) Associate Director – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Pride Circle Foundation

The Declaration of India strives for: 

  • Inclusive corporate cultures where LGBTIQ+ employees feel valued, can be their authentic selves and realise their full potential. 
  • Working environments for LGBTIQ+ people that go beyond minimum legal requirements of equality and safety
  • Active leadership from allies and LGBTIQ+ role models who visibly support LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces.
  • Dedicated, declared and active collaboration between employers and LGBTIQ+ employees who choose to be visible at work to realise mutually beneficial improvements.

The parties signing this Declaration intend to work together with the three Foundations and other civil society organisations representing the LGBTIQ+ workplace community in India, to promote its 10 action points. By signing, they are committing to promote LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces throughout the country, both through internal and external communication. Finally, by signing the Declaration of India, they are agreeing to uphold the dignity and defend the rights of the LGBTIQ+ people who they employee to truly be themselves at work. 

  •   Deloitte, 2023 LGBT+ Inclusion @Work Survey: India
  • * LGBT+ was defined for survey respondents as the following: The LGBT+ acronym (which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and more)

If you are a member of Workplace Pride, our relationship managers will help you examine ‘what’s next’ for your organisation. We will assist in how your organisation can best communicate your commitment to LGBTIQ+ inclusion in line with your organisational core values internally and externally. If you are not a member of Workplace Pride Amsterdam, your organisation can still start a constructive conversation on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in your organisation. 

Please contact your Relationship Manager for more questions. 

Christine Holtkamp

Brian Yothers

Yuli Kim

Omar Badawy

Robert Corvers