Avon fights for LGBTI rights alongside the United Nations

Avon has publicly stated its support for the LGBTI community.
Photo: AFP

The beauty giant is advocating the United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business to tackle discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, as part of its commitment to social progress.

"We want to be a fully inclusive company for LGBTI employees, associates and representatives, and also for our customers and suppliers," said Avon CEO Jan Zijderveld in a statement. "Challenging stereotypes is at the heart of many of our campaigns, and we will work to promote positive representations of LGBTI people across our business."

Produced in partnership with the Institute for Human Rights and Business, the UN Standards have been championed by over 200 companies worldwide. The concept includes respecting human rights at all times, eliminating discrimination in the workplace, providing support in the workplace and preventing other human rights violations in the marketplace. It also requires ‘acting in the public sphere'; a prerequisite that Avon will fulfill by contributing to stopping human rights abuses in the countries in which it operates.

"It is particularly meaningful to have Avon join the early supporters of these Standards as Avon has always been about inclusion, and this is a natural extension of that practice and philosophy," said Fabrice Houdart, United Nations Human Rights Officer and co-author of the Standards. "We hope more businesses will follow globally."

The beauty giant has a longstanding history of advocating LGBTI rights, and has worked across the world with figures including the Brazilian pop star and drag queen Pabllo Vittar, the singer and transsexual activist Candy Mel and the beauty influencer and transgender activist Victoria Volkova. Neither is the brand the only one championing equal rights within the fashion and beauty sphere; earlier this year, fast fashion brand Monki became LGBTQ certified by the non-profit Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), while February saw Lush Cosmetics team up with the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity on a 14-day campaign dubbed "Trans Rights Are Human Rights."
 

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