Online Symposium 2021

From Obligation to Aspiration: Supply Chain Laws and the Business Case Of Putting People First. 

Due Diligence in the Tourism Value Chain  


22 SEPTEMBER 2021, 10:00 AM - 01:45 PM CEST

2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Since then, they are progressively integrated into policies and legal frameworks by an increasing number of governments. National supply chain laws and the discussion about regulation at EU level are leading to uncertainty among many companies about the obligations they will have to face.

This Symposium is about turning the gaze forward and will build the business case for human rights due diligence in tourism, with or without legal obligations.

In a solution-oriented multi-stakeholder setting, this online event offers practical "satellite" discussions around supply chain laws and due diligence for a holistic human rights approach:

  1. Understand the domino effect: Why value chain laws are relevant for every tourism business, including SMEs and what they imply concretely

We will get an overview of existing and future supply chain laws and frame them on a globalised market to understand what these legislative processes (such as the new German Supply Chain Act) include and what impact they will have on existing and future business practices.

  1. Look on the bright side: Why there is always a business case of human rights due diligence

We will investigate why business respect for human rights in tourism is more than compliance or a requirement to "do no harm", and elaborate on how it contributes to positive and transformative change in people's lives and sustainable development.

  1. Join forces: How we must and can work together

We will deep-dive into practice examples on some essential due diligence features and relevant topics for tourism businesses and explore possibilities to tackle challenges that might appear on their due diligence journey.


You find the Hands-On Good-Practice Sessions recordings further down on this site.


10.00 am - 10.10 am CEST


Julie Schindall is an independent human rights advisor with a focus on policy, advocacy and communications. She previously was a Senior Advisor at Shift and the Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement at the Responsible Business Alliance. Prior to her focus on business and human rights, she worked in humanitarian assistance in Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. She began her career as an editor and reporter in radio, television and online news. A dual US-German national, she resides in Berlin, Germany.


Antje Monshausen is policy advisor for Tourism and Development at Bread for the World and head of Tourism Watch. Tourism Watch advocates, socially responsible and environmentally sound tourism. Antje is chairperson of the board of Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism, and a member of ECPAT Germany, the TourCert certification council and the "Transforming Tourism Initiative".

10.10 am - 11.40 am CEST


"Status Quo and Outlook: International Developments on Human Rights Due Diligence"

Lise Smit, Senior Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights, BIICL
Julie Schindall, Moderator

Lise Smit is Senior Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights at the British Insitute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL). She conducts research on corporate human rights due diligence and other aspects of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Prior to joining the Institute, Lise was a practicing advocate at the Cape Town Bar in South Africa, and has worked for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and the UN Global Compact Office. She regularly publishes on business and human rights topics, including the legal developments around human rights due diligence.


"The Business Case of Respecting Human Rights in Tourism"

After 20 years as a travel journalist, editor and author contributing to such publications as The Guardian, Lonely Planet and Skift, Doug Lansky has given acclaimed lectures at nearly 100 universities, given two TEDx Talks, presented at National Geographic Headquarters, for the United Nations World’s Tourism Organization, at Google Travel,, Amadeus, ITB Berlin and for over 100 destinations around the world, from Singapore to South Dakota, Finland to Florida, introducing audiences to new insights and smart tourism concepts.


"Down to Business: How regulation can support due diligence in tourism operations"
We will look at what due diligence laws mean for the tourism industry from different perspectives and how they can be applied.

  • Clare Jenkinson, Head of Sustainability, ABTA
    Clare is Head of Sustainability at ABTA - The Travel Association.  Her team supports travel companies and destinations on issues spanning the environment, community impact, human rights and animal welfare. She is working to drive change across the industry and championing that change. Clare is a board member of the Roundtable for Human Rights in Tourism. Clare has worked in sustainability with the public, private and not-for-profit sectors globally, including in Kenya, Ghana, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. She has gained an MA in Physics from Oxford University and Distinction in Imperial College Business School’s Foundations of Leadership.
  • Natalie Kidd, Chief People and Purpose Officer, Intrepid Travel
    Natalie is the Chief People and Purpose Officer at Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences. Globally recognised as a leader in responsible travel, Intrepid supports eight SDG goals, has advocated on issues such as climate action, animal welfare, child protect and gender equality, is a certified B-Corp and has been carbon-neutral since 2010.  Natalie joined Intrepid in 2005 as the founding General Manager of the first vertically integrated DMC, based in Hanoi Vietnam. Over the years she grew this one DMC into a global network of 25 inbound tour operators. In 2020 she moved from the role of Chief Operating Officer to her current role, responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s people and sustainability strategies.
  • Willem Niemeijer, Founder & CEO YAANA Ventures
    Passion for travel has been in Willem’s blood since a young age. His professional career in the travel industry started at a student travel organization in the 1980s. He moved to Thailand in 1987 and founded Khiri Travel in 1993. The DMC now operates in eight countries with 18 offices, and has a dedicated charity, Khiri Reach.Willem founded YAANA Ventures in 2016 to create and grow a portfolio of sustainable hospitality brands in Asia.Today, besides Khiri Travel, YAANA Ventures oversees nature lodges in Thailand and Cambodia; GROUND Asia specialises in service learning projects for schools and universities; Naruna Retreats, provides personal leadership development; and HMP Master, is a new cloud-based solution for boutique hotel management. Luxury tented camp development company Visama Lodges and hospitality management company Orient & Occident Company are focused on the sustainable hospitality sector.
    Willem resides in Bangkok with his family and is fluent in Dutch, English and Thai.

12.25 pm - 1.25 pm CEST

After a 45 minutes break, different stakeholders from the industry share their experiences and journey in respecting human rights in tourism in our one-hour “Hands-on Good Practice” sessions. 
To implement human rights due diligence, one needs to grasp the theory and translate it into action. Get to know practice examples of how different businesses access human rights issues and how even small changes can significantly impact if they get to the root of the problem.

Participants can choose and join the breakout rooms spontaneously during the event. It is also possible to switch between different rooms.

Session 1 -  
ENGAGE Indonesia Project – Preserving Cultural Heritage and Preparing for Sustainable Tourism

A multistakeholder-collaboration involving local communities, tour operators, DMCs and NGOs for sustainable destination and product development in Flores and Wakatobi. 
by DER Touristik Suisse, Manumadi and Swisscontact 


Session 2 - 
Conducting Political Tours in Authoritarian Regimes - the Examples of Iran and Myanmar
Christoph Dinkelaker and Johanna Pelikan will present insights on running a travel agency (Alsharq REISE) with a focus on political educational tours in Western Asia and Northern Africa (WANA), often operating in authoritarian contexts. By focusing on the examples of Iran and Myanmar, they will share first-hand experiences and offer strategies how to deal with moral and concrete challenges when conducting tours in a difficult political environment and authoritarian political entities.


Session 3 - 
Social Labelling: Fair Hotels and Restaurants for a More Sustainable and Socially Responsible Tourism

Tourism is one of the sectors of the European economy with the highest potential for growth and job creation. However, the sector is plagued by atypical and exploitative work arrangements, with the goal of decent and fair working conditions remaining a dream for many tourism workers. This is what makes initiatives like ‘Just Tourism’ so relevant.
The session explains the idea of the ‘social labelling’ scheme "Fair Hotels" to identify and promote hotels that respect workers’ rights, differentiating them from those that do not, and talks about the Spanish part of the initiative, Hoteles Justos, in more detail. 


Session 4 - 
Improving Child Safety during Project Visits in Tourism

What are child protection issues in the context of project visits during travel?
What can be done to transform project visits to serve the wellbeing of children?

The session will focus on the above questions, among others, to discuss short-term project visits incorporated into tourism products where children are involved.


As Session 4 became a very personal discussion between the participants, we have decided not to publish the recording. We ask for your understanding. Please download the pdf for a summary of the session.

Session 5 -
Supporting Informal Workers in the Context of COVID-19 – An Example from Thailand
The session will give insights into a collaborative project of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism to support informal workers in the Thai tourism value chain. Furloughed tourism professionals from local Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and incoming tour operators, assisted by civil society organisations create capacity development programmes for informal sector workers to improve operating procedures and meet safety standards, redevelop community-based tourism products and meet customer wants and needs once international tourism reopens. Informal workers are a crucial element of tourism as they provide the local experiences that create memorable tourism. Yet, such professions are repeatedly ignored when discussing the tourism value chain.


1.25 pm - 1.45 pm CEST

Closing Note: Petra Thomas, Managing Director, forum anders reisen

Petra  is the managing director of forum anders reisen e.V., umbrella organization for sustainable tourism. The association, founded in 1998 with around 140 member companies, is committed to the development and dissemination of sustainable tourism based on content-related criteria that is oriented towards people and the environment. The graduate in archaeology and art history represented the interests of forum anders reisen as chairwoman of the board since 2010. She is also a board member of the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism. 

Click here for the agenda with all timings.