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UNDP and Partners Launch Inclusive Toolkit to Transform LGBTQ+ Workplaces in Thailand

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy, Chulalongkorn University’s Sasin School of Management, and Workplace Pride, has recently unveiled a groundbreaking initiative aimed at creating safer and more inclusive workplaces for Thailand’s LGBTQ+ community. Named the “Inclusion Toolkit for Organisations and Business: LGBTQI+ Insights to Increase Inclusion for All,” this resource compiles valuable input from a diverse array of sources including Thai LGBTQ activists, civil society organizations, and both local and international companies. This collective effort seeks to provide comprehensive guidelines for fostering an inclusive workplace environment.

Renaud Meyer, the UNDP resident representative, emphasized the importance of championing economic rights for the LGBTQ+ community alongside their civil rights. He pointed out that despite Thailand’s reputation as an LGBTQ+ friendly destination, the reality on the ground is often starkly different. Discrimination in the workplace remains a pressing issue. Meyer cited data from a study conducted in preparation for the toolkit: 45% of the LGBTQ+ individuals interviewed reported experiencing job rejections due to their gender identity; 46% felt compelled to hide their gender identity at work, and a staggering 53% were subjected to demeaning jokes and comments because of their sexual orientations and gender identity.

“Thailand might be seen as a beacon for the LGBTQ+ community globally, but behind this facade lies another truth that rarely makes headlines,” Meyer stated. “Creating safe workplaces for the LGBTQ community is a delicate issue worldwide. The toolkit is designed to be adaptable and can be tailored to fit various cultural contexts,” he added.

Ping Kitnikone, the Canadian ambassador, highlighted Canada’s longstanding commitment to promoting diversity and fostering inclusivity. She stressed that managing workplace diversity transcends the mere acknowledgment of differences among employees. “Developing policies, launching programs, or even introducing toolkits is just the beginning,” she remarked. “For these initiatives to truly be effective, they must become an integral part of the organizational culture.” Kitnikone encouraged organizations to use the toolkit as a launching pad, continuously evaluating their progress and striving to better serve both their organizations and employees by internalizing and implementing the provided guidelines and principles.

Jiraporn Sindhuprai, a minister attached to the Thai Prime Minister’s office, underlined the Thai government’s commitment to tackling these issues through the fifth national human rights plan, which prioritizes addressing the needs of specific groups, including LGBTQ+ individuals. The goal is to eliminate discrimination and raise awareness across the board. “This toolkit represents a significant milestone on the path toward an inclusive Thailand,” she said. “It provides essential guidelines for creating inclusive workplaces and helps in identifying and countering unconscious bias against Thai LGBTQ+ individuals,” Sindhuprai added.

The launch of this toolkit signifies a concerted effort from various stakeholders to bridge the gap between perception and reality when it comes to LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the workplace. By leveraging the insights and guidelines provided, businesses can take actionable steps towards creating environments where all employees, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, feel safe, respected, and valued. This initiative not only aims to enhance the professional lives of LGBTQ+ individuals in Thailand but also sets a precedent for other nations to follow, promoting a more inclusive and equitable world for everyone. So, let’s take a bold step forward, embrace these guidelines, and work towards a future where inclusivity isn’t just an ideal but a tangible reality in every workplace.


  1. Mark Thompson June 3, 2024

    This toolkit is a step in the right direction. It’s about time workplaces in Thailand catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to LGBTQ+ inclusion!

    • Rahul123 June 3, 2024

      I agree, Mark. However, the real challenge will be in the implementation. Just having a toolkit isn’t enough.

      • Sam S. June 3, 2024

        True, many companies pay lip service but don’t actually make structural changes.

    • Joanna Lee June 3, 2024

      Let’s not forget that many ‘inclusive’ countries still struggle with these issues. It’s a universal problem, not just Thailand’s.

  2. Sukhdeep Kaur June 3, 2024

    As someone who’s faced workplace discrimination, this toolkit gives me hope. I just wish it had come sooner.

    • Chris M. June 3, 2024

      It’s never too late to start changing things for the better! Better late than never, right?

      • Sukhdeep Kaur June 3, 2024

        True, but telling that to someone who’s been struggling for years doesn’t make it easier. This should have been a priority from the beginning.

  3. Jason G. June 3, 2024

    Are we really still in a place where we need toolkits for basic human decency? Come on, people!

    • Mandy P. June 3, 2024

      Unfortunately, yes. Progress is often slow, and tools like these are crucial for highlighting and addressing deep-seated issues.

      • Jason G. June 3, 2024

        I get it, Mandy. It just feels like common sense should prevail without needing a manual.

  4. Linda Woods June 3, 2024

    It’s about education and awareness. Many people aren’t actively malicious; they’re just ignorant.

    • Martin D. June 3, 2024

      Ignorance is a huge part of the problem, but it’s still no excuse for discrimination. People need to educate themselves.

  5. grower134 June 3, 2024

    Sounds like a lot of corporate virtue signaling to me. Will this really change anything?

    • Elena R. June 3, 2024

      Only time will tell, but it’s a positive move nonetheless. At least the conversation is happening.

    • Henry T. June 3, 2024

      Every big change starts with small steps. We have to give these initiatives a chance to work.

  6. Kaitlyn Davis June 3, 2024

    My company could definitely use this toolkit. The hidden biases are insane.

  7. HappyPaws June 3, 2024

    This is fantastic news! It’s crucial for everyone to feel safe and respected in their workplace.

  8. Tommy J. June 3, 2024

    I wonder how many businesses will actually adopt this toolkit. Talk is cheap.

  9. Samantha W. June 3, 2024

    Ping Kitnikone’s point about organizational culture is spot on. Policies are just words unless they’re lived by everyone in the company.

    • Jordan L. June 3, 2024

      Exactly. It’s like having a policy against harassment but not enforcing it. The whole culture needs to shift.

  10. Joey Fernandez June 3, 2024

    Isn’t it ironic how Thailand is seen as a safe haven for LGBTQ+ people, but the reality is contrastively grim?

    • Meghan R. June 3, 2024

      Definitely ironic, Joey. A lot of countries have a shiny exterior but dark undercurrents of discrimination.

  11. Alex P. June 3, 2024

    Learning about the statistics of workplace discrimination in the article was really disheartening. We have so far to go.

  12. Felicia Tan June 3, 2024

    Jiraporn Sindhuprai’s comment about unconscious bias is key. Many people don’t even realize they’re being discriminatory.

  13. Molly K. June 3, 2024

    I hope more countries follow Thailand’s lead on this. It’s an important step for global workplace equality.

    • Paul B. June 3, 2024

      Absolutely, Molly. This could set a positive precedent for other nations to follow.

  14. Danielle W. June 3, 2024

    I wish we didn’t need toolkits like this, but the reality is stark. Many people don’t understand or respect the LGBTQ+ community.

  15. Ethan Chen June 3, 2024

    For companies, it’s also a smart move economically. More inclusive workplaces are more productive and innovative.

    • Max Powers June 3, 2024

      Absolutely, Ethan. Inclusive policies are not just morally right but also good for the bottom line.

  16. Trudy Battery June 3, 2024

    Let’s see if these guidelines are actually followed through by businesses. It’s easy to launch a toolkit but much harder to change culture.

    • Grace L. June 3, 2024

      True, Trudy. Implementation is everything. Let’s hope companies take it seriously.

    • Trudy Battery June 3, 2024

      I agree, Grace. Too many initiatives start with fanfare and end in neglect.

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