Understanding modern slavery and the hotel sector

Experts from the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham are hosting a free workshop to highlight the risks of modern slavery within the hotel sector.

The half-day workshop is aimed at hotel managers and labour recruitment agencies in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and aims to help them understand the risk of modern slavery within the sector and ways to identify and manage it.

The hotel sector has been recognised as a high-risk area for labour exploitation and modern slavery where workers are at risk of abusive labour and employment practices. A study co-funded by the European Commission suggest that there are 93,000 sex slaves and 4,500 labour slaves exploited in hotels across Europe.

There have also been reports of hotels used as locations for sexual exploitation.

Reasons behind this increased risk include:

  • A reliance on outsourced housekeeping and cleaning staff;
  • Hotels becoming the unwitting hosts to sexual exploitation due to the privacy in rooms;
  • The goods and services purchased by hotels can represent hidden risks because of complex supply chains

Through this workshop, experts from the Rights Lab - the world’s leading group of modern slavery experts, along with representatives the Shiva Foundation - an organisation aiming to tackle and prevent human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK, and Nottinghamshire Police, want to educate people within the industry to raise awareness of the areas at risk with the sector.

Attendees will learn how to understand best practise in identifying and responding to modern slavery and they will have the opportunity to discuss challenges or issues their business may face in tackling modern slavery.

People will also have the opportunity to discuss challenges or issues their business may face in tackling modern slavery. They will also receive guidance on the tools and measures available to help them address modern slavery.

Dr Akilah Jardine, a director of the Rights Lab and one of the organisers of the event said: “Hotels are beginning to recognise that the sector is at high-risk of modern slavery and labour exploitation - Marriott hotel for instance recently trained 500,000 of its employees to spot the signs of slavery. Our workshop aims to tackle slavery at a local level by equipping hotels across the county with the knowledge and tools to effectively identify and respond to slavery. This includes how people are using their space, and activities happening on their premise - either in their own operations or with their guests."

The workshop will be held on 22 March from 9.30am - 1pm at the Crown Plaza in Nottingham. The event is free to attend, but registration is recommended at the website. Refreshments and a complimentary lunch will be provided.

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