European Union External Action

Enhancing the inclusivity of the LGBTI community in workplaces in Lebanon

10/11/2020 - 14:01
Democracy and Human Rights

The project aims at improving workplaces by making them more inclusive and responsive to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the LGBTI community in Lebanon.


  • Budget: € 660,000
  • Location: Lebanon
  • Date of project: January 2020 - December 2021
  • Implementing Partner: SIDC, ACTED

Evidence has revealed that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals face high levels of discrimination at the workplace. This leaves tremendous impacts on their mental health and overall wellbeing. The negative effects lead them to experience wage disparities and poorer job productivity, job satisfaction, and employment opportunities. Many institutions and organizations exclude and discriminate against LGBTI individuals due to a lack of awareness and education by employers, as well as because of cultural and religious norms embedded within society.

In Lebanon, LGBTI individuals face multiple challenges and discrimination at different levels, especially when it comes to accessing the workplace. The legislation does not offer protection for the members of the LGBTI community. Furthermore, social norms, strongly influenced by religious beliefs, reinforce the stigma against members of the community. These factors lead to  widespread workplace abuse, harassment and discrimination during the recruitment process.

In addition, there is a lack of knowledge about the LGBTI community. It is misrepresented and too often stereotyped in the media and in the public. These issues pose a threat to the economic security and integrity of the members of the community. Marginalization, further stereotyping and vulnerability are the results. In 2017, a report was published and submitted to the Human Rights Committee highlighting the discrimination and persecution of the LGBTI community in Lebanon. This report also shed light on the absence of legal protection for the LGBTI community, specifically at the workplace, where high rates of arbitrary expulsion where reported from the Lebanese LGBTI community.


  • Improve workplaces by making them more inclusive and responsive to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the LGBTI community in Lebanon
  • Empower the LGBTI community to seek and maintain employment based on their personal preferences and professional goals
  • Facilitate change and challenge social norms, perceived roles of individuals and prejudices that exist in societies leading to stigma, discrimination and human rights violations of LGBTI at the workplace


  • LGBTI community in Lebanon
  • Private sector employers and HR managers
  • All groups that have an impact on the employability, acceptability, accessibility, and empowerment of LGBTI individuals at the workplace in Lebanon:
  • workplace employers who are responsible for not discriminating when hiring and employing any vulnerable group
  • school and university counselors and teachers who are responsible for respecting and properly guiding LGBTI students into appropriate work fields based on their capabilities and personal and professional goals
  • media and media professionals who are responsible for representing the LGBTI community in a positive manner to the public that in turn influence and either elevate or reduce stigma and discrimination against LGBTI in Lebanon
  • general population that is responsible for the stigma and discrimination at all levels in the community, the workplace, within the LGBTI community itself; law officials and enforcers; the government and constitution; and the Lebanese population at large.


  • Build an alliance of NGOs working with and for LGBTI, human rights, and with other vulnerable groups
  • Conduct an assessment on perceptions and attitudes of employers towards LGBTI community and a situation analysis of LGBTI community in the workforce
  • Develop a scorecard tool to assess LGBTI friendly workplaces
  • Train employers and employees on building an inclusive and supportive work environment, including on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), human rights, and stigma and discrimination faced by LGBTI at the workplace
  • Document human rights violations in the workplace through a community-based system for monitoring and responding to human rights barriers and violations (REAct system)
  • Facilitate access to basic services including health support, cash for rent, legal counseling and economic empowerment opportunities to documented cases
  • Train LGBTI individuals on job preparedness
  • Conduct workshops for media professionals on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)and defending the human rights of LGBTI
  • Provide sub-grants for the implementation of initiatives, including but not limited to communication campaigns, developed by local organizations or groups of LGBTI activists across Lebanon


  • Improvement of the employability of the LGBTI community
  • Provision of convenient response service for LGBTI community
  • Promotion of an inclusive work environment
  • Promotion of human rights and a positive representation of the LGBTI community through human rights defenders and allies
  • Identification of discriminations and challenges faced by the LGBTI community at the workplace
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