Travelling abroad on business is often considered a perk for employees, but for others it may be more of a threat.
The annual index of safe (and not so safe) places for members of the LGBTQ community to travel to has been published. As well as ranking the top destinations, there is a stark reminder at the bottom of the list just how dangerous the world can be for some workers. Although the FCO may not warn against travel generally, think about the conversations you should be having with staff before ordering a trip. Even travelling to popular conference destinations, such as the UAE can be problematic.
Be prepared to have conversations with staff and avoid making any judgments, especially any that may be to the detriment of any worker, whether LGBTQ, a parent or of any particular religion, all of which will be protected from discriminatory treatment.
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Same-sex relationships are illegal in 38 of the countries on the list and punishable by death in five (Nigeria, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran). Some of the countries where it is illegal to be gay are also popular tourist destinations such as Jamaica, where in a 2013 survey of 71 LGBT people conducted by Human Rights Watch, more than half said they had been victims of homophobic violence. The study says: “Those looking for trans- and gay-travel-safe countries should reconsider popular vacation destinations like Malaysia, Singapore, Morocco, Myanmar and Egypt, as well as beach destinations in the Caribbean such as Saint Lucia and Barbados.”