Shiva Foundation launches online toolkit for the hotel industry

Today Shiva Foundation is launching the Stop Slavery Blueprint, and free online toolkit for the hotel industry. The toolkit, which includes guidance, templates and training, provides practical measures to address some of the main risk areas regarding modern slavery in the industry. This toolkit is launched following wide-ranging insights from across the sector.

The Blueprint, which can be accessed at www.shivafoundation.org.uk/Blueprint, is being unveiled today at the event: ‘Business and Modern Slavery: Turning Principles into Practice.’ The event brings together key representatives from business and civil society, and will showcase practical tools to address some of the main risk areas regarding modern slavery in the hotel sector, including facilities, employment practices and supply chains. Attendees will also hear from an expert panel, including representatives from the International Tourism Partnership and the GLAA, about the wider role businesses can play in the fight against modern slavery, with a focus on shifting from principles to practice.

The Blueprint covers supplier engagement, signs to spot, and reporting protocols and is based on learnings over the past two years working closely with a range of key stakeholders within the hotel industry and the anti-trafficking space. This launch comes after a pilot with Shiva Hotels who have embedded the Blueprint across their properties. Since its implementation, a number of incidents have been reported and swiftly dealt with through collaboration with the police and internal contacts.

It is estimated that there are 136,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK. COMBAT, a European Commission funded project, found that annually 93,000 people were sexually exploited and another 4,500 were exploited for labour in European hotels.

Hotel and hospitality organisations are particularly at risk because of high turnover of staff and goods, which usually results in complex, multi-layered processes, and the outsourcing of recruitment to third party agencies. All of this means transparency is often limited.

Based on its experience trailing the Blueprint and coordinating the Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network, which is made up of key players within the industry, Shiva Foundation is recommending greater collaboration. It is encouraging hotels and hospitality organisations to adopt practical guidelines on transparency and reporting and to work with the industry, victim service providers and law enforcement to strengthen the response to modern slavery.

Quotes:

Meenal Sachdev, Director of Shiva Foundation, said:

“This is an exciting day. We have spent years working with the industry and anti-slavery organisations to put together a toolkit that appropriately addresses the risk of modern slavery in hotels and fits within current hotel practices. This toolkit was created by the industry for the industry and we hope as many hotels as possible use it to join this fight against modern slavery.”

Rishi Sachdev, Director of Shiva Hotels, said:

“Working with Shiva Foundation on the development and roll-out of the Stop Slavery Blueprint has been an eye-opening experience. It taught us a great deal about modern slavery, but also the risk areas for the industry. I know that the teams across the hotels have been really proud of this work and can see how they are contributing to the movement to eradicate modern slavery. The industry has to come together in order for us to have any chance of combating this crime and I hope that this toolkit is used by other hotels looking to join the fight.”

Madhu Rajesh, Director of International Tourism Partnership, said:

“The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) has collaborated with Shiva Foundation for a few years now. The Foundation have been supportive of ITP’s Principles on Forced Labour, which address the critical human rights issue that can affect the hotel industry. We see the Stop Slavery Blueprint as a great and complementary tool to ITP’s Principles that can help hotels implement these principles and look forward to working closely with the Foundation.