A network to combat modern slavery in UK hotels is to be launched today in London, with industry wide backing.
The Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network will assess the risks of ethical recruitment, sexual exploitation and responsible supply chains. Led by the Shiva Foundation, a corporative body set up by Shiva Hotels, the initiative will be unveiled at the annual Trust Women Conference.
Founding members include Shiva Hotels, Hilton Worldwide and Bespoke Hotels, with support from the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and the International Tourism Partnership.
The network is the result of a round table event, hosted by Shiva Foundation and Thomson Reuters Foundation earlier this month, during which hotel owners and operators discussed the challenges of modern slavery currently facing the industry.
Shiva Foundation has already developed a blueprint to minimise the risk of modern slavery, which is currently being piloted at the Doubletree by Hilton London Excel, managed by Shiva Hotels. The initiative includes highlighting Shiva Hotels' policy on trafficking on each television in the 260 bedrooms to help encourage vigilance among guests. Staff also receive guidance on how to spot and report concerns.
Rishi Sachdev, founder and director of Shiva Foundation and Shiva Hotels, said there is now the opportunity to prevent crimes which affect thousands of people across the UK.
"While there has been much good work across the hotel sector to date, there hasn't yet been a unifying scheme to bring this together. By sharing knowledge and expertise through this network, we can ensure that best practice is spread more quickly, helping ensure the safety and livelihoods of those who may be at risk."
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA, added that the safety and wellbeing of employees, guests, and all those involved in the supply chains is paramount. "This network will help ensure that best practice in combatting modern slavery is shared and implemented across the board, and we are pleased to endorse it and encourage its expansion among our members."
Shiva Hotels was founded in 2003. Its London portfolio includes the Kingsway Hall in Covent Garden, Millennium Bridge House, St Paul's, and Hampton by Hilton in Waterloo.
Shiva Foundation was established in 2012 by Rishi Sachdev and his wife Meenal.
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