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International SOS LGBTQ+ module

Press announcement

Keeping LGBTQ+ Travellers Safe: How Organisations can Promote Safety for Business Travellers

In today’s ever-evolving world, it is imperative to recognise the diverse needs of travellers and the significance of LGBTQ+ travel safety. International SOS, the world's leading medical and security services company, is delighted to announce the release of its refreshed LGBTQ+ module in celebration of the Pride Month. The microlearning was designed with advice from Stonewall UK, an LGBTQ+ rights charity. It aims to equip individuals and organisations with the knowledge and tools necessary to promote inclusivity and safeguard the LGBTQ+ community during their business travels.

The refreshed LGBTQ+ module covers destination-specific societal attitudes, biases and challenges that could pose as potential risks to LGBTQ+ travellers. It also covers varying immigration and airport security regulations, local laws and practices regarding the import of certain medications, as well as guidance on accessing safe support. The course will also be available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Japanese and Simplified Chinese.

Laurent Fourier, CEO, Health & Security Subscription Services at International SOS comments
Discrimination and violence remain critical issues for the LGBTQ+ community. The risks faced by the LGBTQ+ workforce may vary based on the destination to which they travel and may be influenced by factors, including the legal status and the levels of social tolerance. Organisations should be aware that the travel experience can be very different for their LGBTQ+ workforce and must adequately prepare its employees for foreseeable health and travel security risks.

The LGBTQ+ module offers valuable resources for pre-trip research, including insights on local customs, beliefs, and attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals in various regions. This helps organisations fulfil their Duty of Care in safeguarding their diverse mobile workforce.

Top Five Tips for Organisations to Promote the Safety of Their LGBTQ+ Travelling Workforce:
  1. Encourage pre-trip research and preparation – provide all travellers with access to LGBTQ+ information and pre-departure advice. Relevant information should include the local application of LGBTQ+ rights, restrictive laws, as well as the societal attitudes at the travel destination.
  2. Educate employees on safety precautions – provide LGBTQ+ specific guidance on risks and mitigation to travelling employees to enable them to make informed decisions about their safety and that of their colleagues. This may include awareness on dress etiquette, avoiding high-risk areas and being mindful of exhibiting public displays of affection or exposing their personal information.
  3. Ensure understanding of local immigration policies and airport security –transgender travellers may experience difficulties entering a country if their identification documents do not match their current presentation. In some instances, it may help to speak to a medical professional ahead of travel to assess whether a supporting letter providing explanation could facilitate entry.
  4. Offer safe accommodation recommendations – lack of anti-discrimination laws might facilitate an ability to refuse accommodation. Provide employees with a list of accommodation that have a proven commitment to LGBTQ+ safety and inclusivity.
  5. Communicate LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and emergency contacts – ensure that employees are aware of their rights and the resources available to them. This helps LGBTQ+ travellers to feel supported and know where to seek assistance when required.
Listen to International SOS podcast to learn the security implications for the LGBTQ+ community, how to keep yourself safe during the celebrations, and how the situation will differ between countries and continents:

For more information on how International SOS can help safeguard your workforce, click here.

To learn more about International SOS digital training portfolio, click here.
About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives and protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, and your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity, and sustainability.

Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by over 9,000 organisations. This includes the majority of the Fortune Global 500. As well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and NGOs. Nearly 12,000 multi-cultural security, medical, logistics and digital experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,200 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days. Between them, International SOS employees speak nearly 100 languages and dialects in our Assistance Centres, Clinics, and offices.

To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: