Shiva Hotels is to launch a comprehensive training scheme for its 400 staff on modern slavery and human trafficking.
The initiative - believed to be the first for a hotel company - will get underway next week, alongside a consumer-facing campaign for guests across Shiva Hotels' five properties, which include the 170-bedroom Kingsway Hall hotel in Covent Garden, London, and 350-bedroom Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.
Training will revolve around teaching staff how to safeguard against the risks of modern slavery by identifying adult guests who appear secretive about their visit or try to conceal they are with a young person. Other signs to look out for include controlling behaviour and unusual repeat booking made in cash or late check-ins without any luggage.
Each hotel will also run a consumer-facing campaign in its lobby on 30 July, in support of the United Nations' Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking. The campaign seeks to raise awareness and inspire action against modern slavery, as well as show solidarity with victims.
The training programme follows on from the launch last year of the Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network, led by Shiva Foundation, a corporate body set up by Shiva Hotels, and featuring Hilton and Bespoke Hotels among its members. On 24 July, the network, which is supported by the British Hospitality Association, will launch a website and resource hub to provide anti-trafficking resources.
Rishi Sachdev, director of Shiva Hotels, said: "Modern slavery is an urgent issue that affects thousands of people across the UK and as a hotelier we have the opportunity to lead the way in addressing this issue. By ensuring our staff and guests are aware of the risks, we can help to prevent modern slavery and ensure the safety and livelihoods of those who may be at risk."
Combat, a European Commission funded project, said that 93,000 people are sexually exploited and another 4,500 are exploited for labour in European hotels, every year.
Professor Alexandros Paraskevas of Combat described the resource hub provided by the network as "a significant step-up in trafficking prevention measures. It is a practical and useful step towards aiding businesses in identifying and preventing modern slavery where is occurs".
Shiva Hotels to launch anti-trafficking charter >>
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