Traffickers often rely on hotels to sustain their operations using them to house their victims or sell forced services, but now many in the industry are taking steps to tackle the problem. Amy Brown reports
The hotel industry is at the frontline in the fight against human trafficking. The International Labour Organization estimates that 24.9 million people worldwide are victims of labour and sex trafficking. Trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses, including hotels, to sustain their illegal operations and infrastructure, using them to house their victims while in transit or to sell their victims’ forced services.
Many hotels are taking broad measures to tackle the problem, both individually and collectively. The International Tourism Partnership (ITP), a hotel industry platform, has embedded human rights, including elimination of fees charged to workers to secure employment, into the corporate governance of its members. Last June, ITP launched its Principles on Forced Labour, and is working with its members to incorporate these in their operations.
It also supports a Youth Career Initiative programme that helps hotels to re-integrate survivors of human trafficking through secure employment.
It’s important not to be afraid to ask uncomfortable questions – both of ourselves and our suppliers
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has an anti-human trafficking taskforce across its operations. It works on reinforcing policies, providing awareness and education to employees and key stakeholders through training and communication campaigns, and by collaborating with stakeholders, such as the World Childhood Foundation, which was co-founded by the Carlson Family Foundation and works to prevent abuse...