New briefing on the combat human trafficking project

  • On Friday, 22 March, 2015, the 120 delegates of the Annual Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME) Conference were introduced to the Combat Human Trafficking Project.  The conference hosts chose ‘The Future is in Our Hands’ as the theme of the conference and as such, it provided a suitable platform to introduce hospitality and tourism academics and practitioners to the Combat project.  

    The project is a collaborative effort between Oxford Brookes University and the University of West London in the UK, the Ratiu Foundation for Democracy in Romania, and the Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Finland.  The project investigates human trafficking within the hospitality and tourism industry from three perspectives; the business, law enforcement and the victim. Drawing on these three perspectives, a key output of the project will be the design and development of a preventative and remedial training toolkit which offers practical step-by-step guidance for hospitality and tourism businesses to combat human trafficking.  It also aims to ensure that firms have appropriate policies and strategies in place to mitigate trafficking by encouraging the reporting of potential incidents whilst at the same time providing support for the victim and ensuring any evidence that may be used by law enforcement agencies is not destroyed.  

    During her keynote presentation, Dr Maureen Brookes, one of the project team members, highlighted the currency and relevancy of this project to key industry stakeholders.   Hospitality and tourism businesses are currently in the spotlight regarding human trafficking due to their potential to be used as vehicles for trafficking victims (e.g. for forced sexual and/or child exploitation); the current trend of outsourcing and using agency labour, and the complex and opaque nature of their supply chains.  In the UK, the recent introduction of the Modern Slavery Bill has also created a growing awareness of the need to address human trafficking.

    Although Maureen was clear that the project was still in its early stages, she also highlighted that a further presentation of the results of the study will take place later this year.  There will be a full presentation made at the forthcoming 2015 EuroCHRIE Conference to be held in Manchester between 15-17 October.  

    More details of the conference.

    Or tweet your interest in this project visit: https://twitter.com/CombatTHB 

    This blog reflects only the author’s view and not that of the European Commission. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of information contained in this blog.