Putting principles into practice: How Shiva Foundation and ITP are addressing modern slavery in the hotel sector

Putting principles into practice: How Shiva Foundation and ITP are addressing modern slavery in the hotel sector

Sian Lea, Senior Programme Manager for Shiva Foundation, and Nicolas Perin, Programme Manager for ITP discuss how they have been joining up efforts to address modern slavery with the hotel industry.

Shiva Foundation have been working over the past two years to draft, trial and launch the Stop Slavery Blueprint (found at www.shivafoundation.org.uk/Blueprint), a free online toolkit for the hotel industry to address the risk of modern slavery within operations and supply chains.

The Blueprint, which was launched on 12th September, is the first comprehensive toolkit that focuses on the risk of sexual exploitation as well as labour exploitation specific to the industry. This toolkit benefits from a wide range of insights from across the sector and learnings from practical implementation.

The work is complemented by the International Tourism Partnership’s (ITP) launch earlier this year of three Principles on Forced Labour for the hotel industry at The Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment and Employment, in Singapore. ITP’s Principles address a critical human rights issue that can affect hotels throughout their labour supply chain. The Principles are supported by the membership of the world’s leading hotel groups and act as a call to action to the wider industry to protect themselves and their workers by being alert to, and helping to prevent forced labour around the world.

ITP’s Principles on Forced Labour are:

  1. Every worker should have freedom of movement.
    The ability of workers to move freely should not be restricted by their employer through abuse, threats and practices such as unlawful retention of passport and valuable possessions.
  2. No worker should pay for a job.
    Fees and costs associated with recruitment and obtaining employment should not be paid by workers.
  3. No worker should be indebted or coerced to work.
    Workers should work voluntarily, be informed of their employment terms and conditions in advance without misrepresentation, and paid regularly as agreed and in accordance with any applicable laws and regulations.

Shiva Foundation were key supporters of the Principles at launch, whilst developing the Stop Slavery Blueprint.

The Blueprint offers practical guidance for hotels at any stage of their journey to set up anti-slavery initiatives. It includes templates, training, guidance on supplier engagement, signs to spot and reporting protocols. It was created collaboratively and is based on learnings from working closely with a range of key stakeholders within the hotel industry and the anti-trafficking space.

The Blueprint was first piloted in Shiva Hotels, the hotel group which founded Shiva Foundation. All Shiva Hotels properties have subsequently embedded the Blueprint. Since its implementation, a number of incidents have been reported and swiftly dealt with through collaboration with the police and internal contacts.

In addition to developing the Blueprint, Shiva Foundation coordinates the Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network, which is made up of key representatives across the hotel industry to combat human trafficking and modern slavery within the sector. Its ethos is that people across the industry, whether international brands, bespoke hotel groups, independent owners, managers or employment agencies, are all responsible for combating modern slavery. The Network launched a resource hub to provide industry members with access to a range of relevant anti-trafficking materials and resources, and produced a Framework for Working with Suppliers to help hoteliers work with their labour and goods suppliers to address modern slavery.

Members of ITP’s Human Rights Working Group fed into the development of Network’s products. The Working Group consists of senior leaders across ITP’s membership, committed to human rights and driving forward their understanding of the issue as well as delivering solutions which can be shared with the wider industry. They are working to support the entire membership to attain ITP’s Goal for 2030 on Human Rights.

Based on their experience developing tools for the industry and coordinating industry networks, Shiva Foundation and ITP strongly encourage collaboration across the industry. They recommend hotels and hospitality organisations adopt the practical Principles and guidelines on transparency and reporting, and work with the industry, victim service providers and law enforcement to strengthen the response to modern slavery.