2016 Trust Conference Action

'The Hotel Industry Network To Stop Slavery'

Meenal Sachdev, Caroline Meledo and Klara Srivankova

Summary

Establishing an industry-wide blueprint by bringing together leading hoteliers to create a ‘stop slavery standard’ across the sector.

The Presentation

The Problem

Global demand for cheap labour fuels the trade in humans. The hospitality sector currently employs 4.49 million people in the UK alone, and contributes over £143 billion to the UK economy. Hotels’ supply chains are complex; many roles are outsourced to low-skilled workers and therefore exposed to unscrupulous third party agencies. In addition hotels, by their very nature, provide a private space to customers. Combined, these things mean that the industry is at particular risk to different forms of modern day slavery. Hotels can provide the lucrative space for unscrupulous sex traffickers or for those who trade in exploiting workers. Although there are existing individual initiatives to tackle this issue, the sector needs the power of its combined forces to counter the scale of the problem. Meanwhile, consumer awareness is low. Even conscientious consumers may not question where their hotel sources its bath products or bed linen from, particularly if the hotel is an established brand.

The Action

Shiva Hotels aims to establish an industry-wide blueprint by bringing together leading hoteliers to create a ‘stop slavery standard’ across the sector. It has already developed a Charter, currently being piloted at one of the hotels in the group’s portfolio, outlining its public commitment to tackle human trafficking in all areas of the business, from its employment policies, to room-hires, to supply chains. In addition it has partnered with leading hotel brands, owners and management companies to create a network committed to industry-wide action. It now wants to take this further by:

What help is needed

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