Protect Human Rights
The responsibility for protecting human rights not only lies with the state. Companies, too, are responsible within their sphere of influence for protecting human rights and ensuring that they are not complicit in the legal violations of others.
That also applies to tourism and its complex value chain along with its myriad of service providers and destinations. It must identify human rights issues intrinsic to the industry and gradually incorporate them into business processes. DER Touristik Group has set out on this path. We want to drive positive developments and improve the situation of those affected.
Human Rights Risk Analysis: Recognising Risks and Seizing Opportunities
DER Touristik Group continuously evaluates human rights risks and opportunities in its value chain. When assessing human rights risks, we involve external experts, NGOs as well as other stakeholders such as service providers, affected groups and employees.
Within the framework of the project “Human rights due diligence with the tour operator” in cooperation with Futouris, in 2018 we conducted an initial analysis of human rights risks in the supply chain of DER Touristik Deutschland. Here, the actual and potential risks of our business activities were identified and assessed. First of all, we created a destination risk register with all holiday destinations offered by DER Touristik Deutschland. We applied two criteria for the assessment:
Relevant Human Rights Issues in Tourism
- Children’s rights
- Sexual exploitation of children
- Workers’ rights
- Modern slavery
- Discrimination in the workplace
- Access of the local population to land, water and food
- the severity of the human rights violations in a country (assessment based on international standards and country reports) and
- the importance of the human rights risk field for the tourism industry.
To identify our most important fields of action, we have
- prioritised according to the severity of effects as well as
- the possibility of influence by DER Touristik
As a result of this risk analysis, DER Touristik focuses on the issues of workers’ and children’s rights alongside sexual exploitation of children.
Within a practical guide, we have summarised the risk register and stakeholder survey instruments that were developed in the project “Human rights due diligence with the tour operator”. It is permanently available to interested tourism companies. In doing so, Futouris and DER Touristik Group, as project sponsor, would also like to afford other tourism companies the opportunity to use the developed recommendations to exercise their human rights due diligence obligations.
The human rights risk analysis is to be repeated in 2022.
Pioneer Thailand: Measures that Serve as Model
Among other things, during the analysis Thailand was identified as a relevant risk country for DER Touristik. For this reason, together with the Roundtable for Human Rights, we conducted a Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) in Thailand in 2019. The key issue here was to identify and evaluate the negative impact of tourism business activities on human rights and the affected rights holders (such as employees, local communities, indigenous peoples, minorities, children and women etc.).
In doing so, we involved and surveyed 50 stakeholders within the DER Touristik value chain, including for example
- Destination agency
- Hotels and employees
- Transport companies
- Tour guides
- Souvenir sellers
- Indigenous peoples
- Representatives of community-based tourism (authentic experience of a host country in a local community).
Jointly with the product and destination management, we transferred the insights gained into measures that cannot be addressed again until 2022 due to the Corona pandemic.
What We Do Specifically
Formal Act with Signal Effect DER Touristik Management Policy Statement on Human Rights
Actually, a matter of course: the DER Touristik Group’s International Board published a policy statement on the protection of human rights in August 2019. In doing so, the Group also formally makes a clear commitment and emphasises the strong importance that the corporate group attaches to the human rights issue. This comprises both the strengthening of human rights and preventative measures against conceivable human rights abuses.
The policy statement applies to all of its own business activities, but also to business partners worldwide along the tourism value chain.
Black on White: Human Rights as Part of the Contractual Relationship with Suppliers
Trust is good, written agreements are better: in 2019, we rolled out the Supplier Code of Conduct (SCoC) for the entire DER Touristik Group. As a result, we make human rights and ecological requirements on our service providers an integral part of contractual relationships with our business partners both at home and abroad.
The SCoC is a voluntary commitment of suppliers to responsible, ethically correct behaviour. It includes behavioural guidelines that serve as an orientation framework for business partners in the joint business relationship. This means that contractual relationships with our business partners incorporate the social and legal framework conditions as well as the values of our company with regard to human rights.
What is more, DER Touristik is planning a training programme for service providers to raise awareness and convey practical measures on respecting human rights in business transactions.