Human rights

Like any industry, tourism has a responsibility to respect human rights, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights. Relevant human rights in tourism include labour rights, child rights and anti-discrimination. In practice this can cover a range of things such as working to ensure modern slavery (forced labour) isn’t being used by suppliers, eg hotel staff and being aware of human trafficking and what to look out for if you are operating travel services such as flights, coach or train journeys. 

Collaboration is critical. ABTA is a member of the Roundtable on Human Rights in Tourism – a multi-stakeholder alliance of civil society organisations, tour operators and travel associations dedicated to respecting human rights according to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

ABTA’s guidance and training on human rights issues include the ABTA Modern Slavery Guidelines, the Every child, everywhere child safeguarding training tool and the Accessible Tourism training. These are available free for ABTA Members through the Member Zone. Non-Members can purchase a copy at the ABTA shop.

As part of our long-standing commitment to child safeguarding, for many years we have been advising our Members to move away from offering volunteering in, visits to or donations towards orphanages or other child-care institutions, due to the evidence of the harm to children orphanages can have. Hope and Homes for Children and ABTA – The Travel Association – are co-convening an Orphanage Tourism Taskforce, to help end orphanage tourism.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of ABTA, Travelife for Accommodation helps the travel industry manage sustainability in their accommodation supply chain, including human rights, as well as environment, community and governance issues.