Promoting ethical recruitment in the hotel and tourism industry
Improving migration pathways for migrant hotel workers
16 million people
estimated in forced labour in private sector globally
of private sector forced labour occurs in accommodation and food services
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance have created a partnership to promote ethical recruitment in hospitality and tourism that align with IOM’s IRIS: Ethical Recruitment Programme.
Responsible recruitment in the hospitality industry
Workers are increasingly looking for job opportunities beyond their home country in search of decent work and better livelihoods. Many countries depend on migrant workers to satisfy local job demands, and millions of workers also migrate internally in search of opportunities.
The hospitality industry is a people industry, employing hundreds of millions of workers worldwide. The industry employs many migrant workers, particularly in fast-growing markets and in preparation of large-scale events (e.g. global sporting events). Recruiting across borders enables hotels to find the talent and skills needed and fill gaps in the local labour market.
Recruitment processes and workers’ journeys differ. All of them may present risks to workers, especially when recruitment is done without due diligence throughout the recruitment and migration process.
About this project
The initiative aims to promote ethical recruitment in cross-border labour migration and make international recruitment fair for everyone involved.
Why we are doing this
Migrant workers can be particularly at risk of forced labour due to unethical employment and recruitment practices – intentional or unintentional. This can include coercion to work through violence or intimidation, contract deception, debt bondage, restrictions on freedom of movement, retention of identity documents, threats, and poor living and working conditions.
For hotels, failure to mitigate against human rights issues in the labour supply chain can result in failure to meet national or international regulations, fines and imprisonment, reputational risk, and loss of commercial opportunities and investment.
What we are doing
This initiative brings together recruitment agencies in countries of origin, with hotel companies in countries of destination, and local governments to:
Support recruitment agencies in adopting ethical recruitment practices
Raise awareness and increase commitment across the sector
Develop hospitality-specific trainings and tools on implementing ethical recruitment
Create guidance for hotel companies operating in countries of destination
Improve access to information for hotel workers throughout their recruitment journey
If your hotel is interested in taking part in this initiative, please contact us to find out more.
“Private sector partnerships play a vital role in promoting ethical recruitment and safe migration. IOM’s cooperation with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance is the foundation for building capacity and resources to address unethical recruitment and enhance protection for migrant workers in the hospitality and tourism industry. Our partnership leverages the combined influence of both organizations to effectively promote ethical recruitment and build respect for the rights of migrant workers.”
Monica Goracci, Director, Department of Migration Management, IOM
Where we are currently working
We are working in key migration corridors in Central America targeting destination countries such as Mexico and Panama, and from East Africa to countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council including Kuwait and Oman.
Learnings from this project will also enable the global hotel industry to better understand, identify, and address risks related to unethical recruitment faced by migrant workers in their global supply chains.
We are working with hospitality companies, governmental institutions, non-profits and other industries to embed responsible recruitment and decent work practices across the global hospitality supply chain.
Header stats: Global Estimates of Modern Slavery (2017), ILO, available from: www.ilo.org
Graphic: Adapted from Promoting Fair Recruitment and Employment (2020), ILO, available from: www.ilo.org
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