The I Exist, Too Declaration (2023)
The Declaration of LGBTQI+ Inclusion within the Global Maritime Industry
By reading and signing this declaration below, you are making a significant step toward becoming more inclusive, through protecting and upholding the human rights of LGBTQI+ people within the maritime industry.
We, the undersigned individuals and organisations, participants of the “I Exist Too, 2023 Forum”, held in Panama City, Panama on 25th May 2023, acknowledge that the maritime industry has historically been an environment that has not been inclusive or supportive of the LGBTQI+ community. Discrimination, harassment, and unequal treatment have been too common, creating barriers for the full participation of LGBTQI+ individuals in our industry. As organisations committed to both human rights and improving the diversity and inclusivity of the maritime industry, we recognise the importance of creating a welcoming and supportive workplace for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
We pledge to take concrete steps to create a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQI+ community within our organisations, and in the wider maritime industry. We commit to fostering an environment where all individuals feel safe, valued, and respected, and to creating policies and practices that promote equality, diversity, and inclusion. We respect the human rights of all, including that of the human rights of LGBTQI+ people in our industry. We recognise that change is an ongoing process, and we commit to continuously improving our practices to ensure that our workplaces are welcoming and supportive for all.
To guide our efforts, we commit to the following five principles as signatories of this declaration:
Zero Tolerance for Discrimination and Harassment: We will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. We will create clear policies that prohibit such behaviour, provide training to our employees, and we will enforce these policies consistently.
Support for LGBTQI+ Employees: We will actively support our LGBTQI+ employees by providing them with the necessary resources and support to thrive in our organizations. This includes creating support mechanisms such as employee resource groups, offering diversity and inclusion training across our organisations, and providing access to mental health resources.
Supplier Diversity: We will actively seek out and work with LGBTQI+ owned or led businesses, as well as suppliers who are supportive of LGBTQI+ rights, as part of our supplier diversity efforts.
Advocacy and Engagement: We will use our platform to advocate for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community within the maritime industry and beyond. This includes engaging with policymakers, participating in industry events and initiatives, and working with other organizations to promote equality, diversity, and inclusivity.
Reflect and Review: We will continuously reflect on our approaches to LGBTQI+ inclusion and will review them as necessary so that they are up-to-date and fit for purpose.
In signing this declaration, we recognise the importance of creating a more inclusive and welcoming maritime industry for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics. We commit to taking concrete steps to improve the diversity and inclusivity of our organisations and in the wider maritime industry, and to continuously improving our practices to ensure that all individuals are treated with basic human rights, dignity, and respect.
We recognise that this declaration may be updated to reflect ongoing changes and practices in fostering LGBTQI+ inclusion, and we will aim to sign reviewed declarations in the future.
You can download a PDF of this declaration, by clicking here.