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Global unions condemn Brunei’s homophobic laws

news Press Release 03 Apr 2019

The world’s global union federations have come together to unequivocally condemn new laws in Brunei that punish homosexual sex with death by stoning.

Today, a new penal code is due to be introduced in the Kingdom that targets LGBT+ people with the death penalty. It is the latest phase of brutal new laws introduced since 2014 that include severe punishments for adultery and theft.

Stephen Cotton, chair of the Council of Global Unions (CGU), said: “On behalf of the hundreds of millions of workers we represent, I utterly condemn these new laws in Brunei.

“Everybody, whatever their sexuality or gender or race, has the right to be who they are free of fear and persecution; this is basic human rights. The trade union movement has a proud history of standing up for the most persecuted communities, and we will continue to do this for as long as we have to.

“Just last October, the Congress of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, representing 20 million workers, passed a motion re-committing itself to promote and defend the rights of LGBT+ people in every part of the ITF's work.

“So, I call on the government of Brunei to stop the implementation of this cruel and inhuman new law. Moreover, it is time for Brunei to go further and end all laws criminalising LGBT+ people, and show that it is a country that upholds human rights and celebrates diversity, rather than outlaw it.”

Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary and secretary of the CGU, said: “There must be no place in the modern word for medieval laws like these. As a significant investor in hotels and businesses globally, Brunei must respect the international rule of law by withdrawing this brutal legislation and respecting the rights of all, regardless of their sexual orientation or religious belief.”


ABOUT THE CGU: the Council of Global Unions, also known as Global Unions, is the partnership between the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, the Building and Wood Worker’s International (BWI), Education International (EI), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the International Arts and Entertainment Alliance (IAEA), IndustriALL, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), Public Services International (PSI) and UNI Global Union.

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