Switzerland: Global LGBTI rights to be discussed at Davos 2016

LGBT issues have made it onto the official agenda of the World Economic Forum in Davos for the first time. LGBT issues have been slowly making an appearance in the past couple of years, with the topic touched on in private discussions behind closed-doors as part of what I call the Davos Fringe and passing mentions on Davos panels around more general discussions of diversity and inclusion.

Topics don’t get added to the agenda lightly. New issues must have global importance and there must be high profile senior executives willing to talk about them on a pubic stage. The 2016 agenda includes two public sessions with a clear LGBT focus, signalling that LGBT issues have come to the fore with champions who are ready to speak clearly and openly on the topic.

There is a feeling among parts of the business community that through their global presence, with strong policies across their entire workforces around the world, and the ability to use their economic clout to influence governments, they can play a positive role either through acting as a role model or by using their soft power to encourage greater levels of acceptance and equal rights for LGBT people in countries where rights are not enshrined.  Read more via BBC