Building on the work ABTA and its Members have been undertaking on human rights, ABTA has signed up to the Roundtable for Human Rights in Tourism. This is a multi-stakeholder alliance of civil society organisations, tour operators and travel associations dedicated to respecting human rights. ABTA will be actively participating in the work of the Roundtable this year to further understand the issues that can be addressed by the travel industry collectively, and will update on its progress on an annual basis.
With the introduction of the UN Guiding Principles and subsequent Modern Slavery Act, ABTA is supporting its Members to manage human rights in their operations and supply chain, including preventing practices such as exploitative working conditions and discrimination. This is in line with its wider approach to sustainability and destination management. ABTA has worked with Members on human rights issues for many years through programmes such as ‘Better Places’ – which addresses the environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism and its Travelife certification scheme for hotels and accommodations – one of the only hotel sustainability certification schemes to incorporate human rights into its auditing criteria.
To further support the travel industry in understanding the role they can play in protecting human rights, ABTA is working with Stronger Together, an organisation which aims to reduce modern slavery, to develop guidance for Members. The first guidance of its kind, it will offer Members practical steps that they can take to update their modern slavery and human rights approach. It will be available to ABTA Members later this year.
ABTA will also be refreshing its Every Child Everywhere training on child safeguarding, which is due to launch in ABTA’s Knowledge Zone in the spring.
Nikki White, ABTA Director of Destinations and Sustainability comments:
“Tackling human rights issues is a complex matter which no one organisation can solve alone. ABTA and its Members recognise the travel industry does have an important part to play. We’re working together to continue to identify where there might be vulnerabilities in the supply chain and actions that the industry can take to address these issues in the long term.”
Antje Monshausen, chairwoman of the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism said:
“We are delighted that ABTA has signed up to the Roundtable. This is a positive and important step towards an international dialogue on human rights in tourism. We’d encourage ABTA members to sign up to the Roundtable themselves to further progress their human rights approach and help drive further developments within the industry.”