Save-the-Date! Roundtable Symposium 27 June 2019 in Utrecht, The Netherlands

The AGM will take place on the following day, 28 June 2019, at the same venue.


International Symposium Vienna 2018

On 28 June 2018, Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism, in cooperation with its member Naturefriends International organised the International Symposium "Human Rights in Practice: Tourism and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development"

The symposium took place at Naturefriends International's office in Vienna, Austria. 

50 international participants from tour operators, governmental and non-governmental organisations, travel associations and other institutions discussed with various experts how tourism businesses can practically contribute to respect for human rights and fulfilment of the SDGs with their activities and business relationships.

The symposium started with an introduction on the linkage of human rights and SDGs by Karin Lukas from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, showing the overlaps and giving first ideas how to combine the two concepts in tourism practice.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a comprehensive and universal framework for governments and businesses. Embedding respect for human rights along their supply chain is the most powerful contribution of tourism businesses to sustainable development.

Roundtable members and partners presented different approaches to integrate SDGs into tourism practice with a focus on decent working conditions in destinations. The presentations were followed by a discussion with all participants: 

The afternoon workshop sessions offered a great opportunity to exchange and learn from each other. Experts gave short impulses on four thematic areas to start a discussion on participants’ experiences, challenges and questions:

  • Martin Balas (TourCert) & Ruth Hopfer-Kubsch (Studiosus): How can dialogue with suppliers can be increased and common standards be developed? 
  • Matthias Leisinger (DER Touristik Suisse) & Markus Löning (Löning - Human Rights and Responsible Business): How can Human Rights information in destinations be gathered and tourism impacts be identified and prioritized?
  • Susana Ceron Baumann (Ventura Travel) & Theo Noten (ECPAT Netherlands): How can Human Rights topics be communicated internally and towards customers?
  • Caroline Steimle (Futouris) & David Ville (Thomas Cook UK): How can Public Private Partnership projects support decent work in tourism? How can Multi Stakeholder approaches work for sustainable development of tourism?

Upcoming ideas and practical, already implemented approaches were collected and documented as inspiration and assistance for tourism businesses.

Please find the complete documentation of the symposium with the presentations and findings of the discussions here. 



Roundtable at ITB 2018

The Roundtable was represented again with an information desk at the booth of Bread for the World / Tourism Watch (hall 4.1, stand 224) and informed the trade visitors about human rights in tourism and corporate responsibility. 

On Wednesday, 7th March from 12:00 to 12:45 the Roundtable hosted the panel talk "Human Rights in practice - Land and resource rights of coastal fishing communities in the era of tourism development" on PowWow-stage in hall 4.1:

  • Herman Kumara, National Convener, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement; Sri Lanka
  • Peter-Mario Kubsch, Chief Executive Officer, Studiosus Reisen; Germany
  • Camilo Alvarado, Coordinator South America, VSocial Foundation; Colombia

The panel was moderated by Antje Monshausen (Chairwoman, Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism; Head, Tourism Watch – Brot für die Welt; Germany) and issued the following questions:

The majority of global tourism takes place in coastal areas – and especially small islands focus on tourism as a strategy for diversifying their economy and fostering economic development. As tourism grows, pressure increases on resources and land. How does tourism affect fishing communities and how can tour operators empower coastal communities? 

Around 30 participants followed the discussion. 

Read also an article about the second TO DO Human Rights Award (our panelist Herman Kumara was the winner of this year's award)



The Roundtable sends an open letter to UNWTO regarding the Draft Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics

The UNWTO is in the process of transforming the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism into an international convention. In an open letter to the General Secretary the Roundtable welcomes UNWTO’s efforts in this regard. A UN Convention creates an international, legally binding framework for responsible development within the tourism sector, which governments and businesses have to follow. However, the Roundtable expressed the concern that the process seems rushed and intransparent as it did not leave any room for interventions by small and medium enterprises or civil society organisations and affected communities. Without a serious review of the content of the Code of Ethics and a strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda as well as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the added value of such a convention remains questionable. The Roundtable criticises that the conciliation mechanism of the convention is planned to be isolated from the convention itself. It should be included in an optional protocol, which member states have to ratify additionally. This is a serious step backwards in the process of the implementation of ethics in tourism and threatens the credibility of the convention. The Roundtable reaffirms its serious commitment to work jointly with UNWTO and offers to contribute to an open and productive review process of the draft convention at any time.

Download the letter to the UNWTO



International Conference on Human Rights in Tourism

ITB 2017 – Human Rights at Practice: Rights at Work

For the first time the Roundtable at ITB was represented with an information desk at the booth of Bread for the World / Tourism Watch and informed the trade visitors about human rights in tourism and corporate responsibility.

At this year’s Roundtable panel talk, members discussed about workers rights in the hospitality sector with Kevin Curran, the winner of the TO DO Human Rights Award.

Report on Unethical London Download

Please find an interview with Kevin Curran here (in German only):

Read also an article about the first TO DO Human Rights Award (in German only)

Increasing awareness of human rights in tourism industry

Panel on human rights as good business at tourism fair Vakantiebeurs in Utrecht 2017

For the first time, human rights were on the agenda of this year’s Sustainable tourism business day during the holiday fair on 11 January 2017 in Utrecht.


World Tourism Market (WTM) 2016 in London

Panel on Human Rights Due Diligence

The Roundtable emphasized the Importance of international multi-stakeholder initiatives. 

Read the Tourism Watch article here.

ITB 2016

How to start human rights due diligence in practise?

Der Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism diskutierte auf der ITB 2016 über menschenrechtliche Risiken und Auswirkungen in beliebten Urlaubsdestinationen.

Finden Sie unsere Pressemitteilung hier.

Die Präsentationen der Veranstaltung finden Sie hier.