Mobile phone giant Orange has become the first multinational company with operations in Uganda to pledge to defend it’s employees in response to the nation’s new anti-gay law.
Orange have responded to the mobilisation of 85,000 All Out members by announcing that they would provide legal and security assistance to LGBT employees in Uganda.
“Orange is convinced that diversity is a force for social performance and economic performance,” said Orange spokesperson Jean-Bernard Orsoni.
“Orange does not ask it’s employees about their sexual orientation because it is confidential information that isn’t part of any step of an employee’s life in the company, or in recruitment, promotion or any other decision concerning an employee. Orange does not collect this information, so it would not be possible to produce it and hand over to anyone. The Group also provides any assistance (legal, and security wise) to its employees worldwide in situation of crisis”.
This week, following the same call from All Out members, Orange also pulled their paid advertisements in the Ugandan tabloid Red Pepper which recently listed the names, photos and locations of LGBT people in Uganda.
Andre Banks, Executive Director and co-founder of All Out said, “Orange are doing exactly the right thing by refusing to continue business as usual, and taking steps to protect their employees affected by the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
“Whether it’s Russia, Nigeria, or Uganda, global corporations should urgently follow their lead.”
“Other global corporations should be announcing they’re afraid to do business in a country where their employees might be jailed for being gay. Religious leaders in Uganda and around the world must speak up now. Countries with diplomatic ties to Uganda should be acting with the urgency of a life and death human rights crisis. Now is the time for action.”
All Out are now petitioning other multinational organisations operating in Uganda – such as Heineken, KLM and Coca-Cola – to follow suit by committing to protect its employees against the new anti-gay law signed in by President Museveni.
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