Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network
The Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network brings together various stakeholders within the hotel industry to address modern slavery. The Network stems from the acknowledgment that all actors within the industry, whether international brands, independent owners, or management companies, are responsible for combatting this crime. The Network aims to facilitate communication between these complex layers and to foster collaboration to meaningfully address inherent challenges.
The Network has committed to meeting regularly over the next 12 months to pull together best practice, learn from individual experience, and facilitate action that requires this type of collaboration for it to be successful. With the endorsement of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the trialled and tested resources resulting from the Network will be accessible to the BHA’s membership of over 40,000 organisation. It is by working together that we will be able to make an impact.
The primary issues unique to the industry that this Network addresses:
1. Modern Slavery incidence
The hotel industry is of particularly high risk of human trafficking because of its complex supply chains, its reliance on a high volume of lower-skilled employees, and the fact that by its very nature, it provides a private space to customers. The sector employs over 4.49 million people (10% of the UK workforce) and contributes over £143 billion to the UK economy. In London, the hospitality service has been identified by the GLA as a risk area for modern slavery.
The Network is responding to this vulnerability by looking into all risk areas within the industry: hotel room usage, supply chains, and outsourced staff.
2. Complexity of the industry
The complexities of hotel structures make addressing modern slavery that much more difficult. A hotel might be under one brand, owned by another organisation and managed by another altogether. With multiple entities involved at each level, the industry is particularly vulnerable to risk. The question becomes: whose responsibility is it to drive out slavery and human trafficking.
By bringing all stakeholders within the industry together, the Network addresses accountability and fosters communication so that anti-slavery initiatives are realistic and feasible for all of the key players.
3. An insider perspective
NGOs have faced many challenges securing active participation from the industry in the past when trying to address modern slavery. This Network has found great success due to the fact that it is an initiative that was spearheaded by an insider; a hotel group.
4. Resource and capacity
As modern slavery is usually seen as a CSR issue, there isn’t much resource allocated within organisations (regardless of size) and therefore, by Shiva Foundation committing to coordinate this Network, some of the financial and capacity-related burden is taken off of the members.
The Network was formed following a roundtable held by Shiva Foundation and Thomson Reuters Foundation in early November. Watch Shiva Foundation’s director, Meenal Sachdev, as she unveiled the Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network at the Trust Women Conference in London on 30 November 2016.
Any questions or expressions of interest about the Network can be sent to Senior Programme Manager, Sian Lea. This Network builds on our wider work with Shiva Hotels to promote a commitment to tackling modern slavery and human trafficking within their hotels. All questions related to our specific work with Shiva Hotels can be sent to Strategy Lead, Nishma Jethwa.