Human Rights in Tourism event at ITB

Human rights issues in the tourism industry

Human rights issues in the tourism industry

Michelle Naggar, Starwood Vice President of Social Responsibility is taking part in an important human rights event at ITB Berlin.

The event called How to Start Human Rights Due Diligence in Practice? Impact assessments as a component in human rights strategies is taking place on Thursday, 10th March 2016, 12-1 pm, Hall 4.1, on the Pow-Wow-Stage.

Panel guests include Dr. Nicole Häusler Advisor on Responsible Tourism, Myanmar; Beth Verhey Senior Advisor on Corporate Social Responsibility, UNICEF; Michelle Naggar Vice President of Social Responsibility, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; Sibylle Baumgartner Head of Corporate Responsibility, Kuoni Travel Management Ltd.; Gerben Hardeman Sustainable Tourism Manager, ANVR - Dutch Travel Association.

The event is moderated by Antje Monshausen Bread for the World - Tourism Watch with special guests: Gerben Hardeman (ANVR) & Norbert Fiebig (President of DRV), and includes a signing ceremony with new association members of the Roundtable.

The event immediately follows the launch at 11:30 am by child rights organisation ECPAT of the initial results from their Global Study on the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism.

The Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism is a multi-stakeholder initiative and aims to support the systematic integration of human rights due diligence in tourism management.

The Roundtable provides information, material and good practice examples, for example:

The Commitment. A recommendation of an industry standard for a human rights due diligence which serves as guidance for tour operators. It has been formulated on the basis of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Management Guideline which supports the implementation of a human rights due diligence strategy in business practice. It supports the development of a human rights strategy that can be integrated into already existing management structures of the tourism industry, and individually adapted to their size and business activities.

Open access online training to introduce tour operator experts to the subject. In addition, five examples of basic knowledge concerning human rights in tourism illustrate how the protection of human rights is put into practice. (So far, only available in German.)

Commenting on the event Michelle Naggar said, “At Starwood, human rights are an important part of being a responsible business and ensuring the safety and security of our guests, associates and members of the communities where we operate. Our strategic work in human rights – especially conducting country-level impact assessments – allows us to work with experts across sectors to learn detailed information about risks and opportunities in specific markets that are applicable to our business. We look forward to engaging with more industry partners to make progress against our findings.”

Those in tourism who are interested in promoting the issue are urged to take action for human rights, make use of the free information and materials and be part of the Roundtable. New members are very welcome.

For more information on the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism visit and email

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