ITP’s Human Trafficking Working Group has developed resources to help hoteliers understand and address these risks.
What’s the problem?
The acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them – is the world's fastest-growing crime. According to the International Labour Organisation, human trafficking is the third-largest illicit moneymaking venture in the world, after drug dealing and the arms trade. Over 21 million people worldwide are estimated to be trafficked into slavery for prostitution, domestic servitude, agriculture and in the workplace each year.
The hotel sector is identified as high-risk. Children and adults may be trafficked via hotels for sexual exploitation. The volume of lower-skilled jobs in the industry can provide the opportunity for unscrupulous individuals and agencies to put people into forced or bonded labour, taking their documents, their paychecks and their freedom. And what if the products and services you buy are built on the back of slavery, exploitation and misery? There should be no threshold of tolerance and a hotel or hotel company needs to take steps to avoid their business being open to trafficking.
What is ITP doing?
The International Tourism Partnership's Human Trafficking Working Group brings together members to accelerate learning, share best practice and develop resources to help members, and the wider industry, tackle human trafficking risk. Together we developed a Human Trafficking Position Statement, a Know How Guide and Guidelines for Checking Recruitment Agencies. In addition, we maintain
strong connections with government, investors, academia and specialist non-profit organisations to ensure we keep learning and keep driving the agenda on this key issue. ITP's Youth Career Initiative programme is helping to re-integrate survivors of trafficking into the workplace by offering training opportunities at hotels in India, Ethiopia, Mexico and Vietnam.
Setting policy is the easy part; the difficult part is making it work. Despite the real challenge of raising awareness on a global scale, Marriott has delivered tailored training to its associates and security officers globally. In addition, this training was shared with, and now forms the basis e of, the American Hotel & Lodging Association human rights training. The company has also spoken about human rights at a variety of events and is an active member of ITP’s Human Trafficking Working Group.
Barbara Powell, formerly Senior Director, International Social Responsibility for Marriott
What can I do next?
Assess where you may be exposed to risk – in your operations, labour supply and supply chain. Our resources will help you understand the issues, give you key background information, access to further resources and networks, and give you the groundwork to develop sound policies and procedures.