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New report urges hotel industry to team up to fight modern slavery

It is estimated that there are 115,000 human trafficking victims in the hospitality sector

A new report by the Shiva Foundation has launched calling for immediate and coordinated action to address modern slavery in the hotel industry.

The report is called ‘Charting a Course for Collective Action: Addressing Slavery in the Hotel Industry’ and features wide-ranging insights from across the industry.

The report is based on learnings over the past year from the Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network, a group of hoteliers convened by Shiva Foundation, as well as a wider consultation with the hospitality sector backed by the British Hospitality Association.

Collectively, the Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network’s members are involved with 6,000 properties in more than 100 countries, and employ around 220,000 people across the globe.

It is estimated that there are 115,000 human trafficking victims in the hospitality sector in Europe, of whom 93,500 are sexually exploited and nearly 7,000 are labour exploitation victims working in hotels.

to help tackle the problem, Shiva Foundation is recommending greater collaboration, encouraging hotel and hospitality organisations to:

Use collective purchasing power to help drive change in supply chains, rewarding responsible suppliers

  • Share successes, failures and learnings to increase the flow of information between companies and sectors
  • Be bolder in showcasing their commitment to tackling modern slavery. For example, the report references how Shiva Hotels, which is affiliated to Shiva Foundation, has been praised by staff and guests for publicly displaying its commitment to addressing modern slavery in the lobbies of its hotels
  • Treat slavery as a priority by involving representatives from across the business

Kevin Hyland, the UK’s independent anti-slavery commissioner, said: “Taking action on modern slavery and human trafficking is not just a moral obligation – it makes good business sense. Forced labour in company operations or supply chains has the potential to disrupt business, weaken investor confidence and cause significant brand damage

“The hotel and hospitality sector has the opportunity to show real leadership and strength in tackling modern slavery, but there is still a way to go to ensure a comprehensive and consistent response. I urge all business leaders join this fight, so we can ensure that addressing slavery becomes the norm, rather than the exception.”

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