Seminar: Human rights in tourism, between legal obligations and business success

Aethnic, Alba Sud, Tourism Watch and Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism are organizing a face-to-face seminar in Barcelona at the Ostelea University School of Tourism on July 1, aimed at travel agencies and tourism professionals.

More than ten years after the United Nations adopted the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, last February the European Commission presented the “Proposal for a Directive on the due diligence of companies in matters of sustainability” with the purpose of establishing a clear and binding framework under which companies have the duty to comply with human rights. For self-issued travel agencies, which are mostly SMEs with a diverse and long supply chain, these new legal developments raise many questions and concerns.

In the presentation document of the proposal it is indicated that, within this framework, companies “will be required to determine and, if necessary, prevent, prevent or mitigate the adverse effects of their activities on human rights ( for example, child labor and exploitation of workers) and in the environment (for example, pollution and loss of biodiversity). For companies, these new rules will provide legal certainty and fair competition conditions. For consumers and investors, they will bring more transparency.”

Several Member States already have national action plans, and more and more governments are adopting supply chain legislation, for example the UK, France, the Netherlands and Germany. In Spain, the adaptation of the legal framework to this Directive is underway.

The aim of this seminar is to know and better understand the international frameworks on companies and human rights, as well as to be able to debate the implications of these changes. Based on the experiences of companies and non-governmental organizations from neighboring countries, in this activity we will also share experiences on how business strategies have been developed and applied in the monitoring and compliance of human rights.

The seminar also provides an opportunity to learn about existing tools for tour operators in this area, and more importantly, it will provide a professional space for exchange and cooperation.


09:00 to 09:15 Words of welcome by Ernest Cañada on behalf of the convening organizations and presentations.

09:15 to 09:30 Intervention by Antje Monshausen, director of Tourism Watch and president of Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism. Presentation: Human rights matter, to comply with international standards, but also for business success.

09:30 to 09:45 Online intervention by Petra Thomas, CEO of Forum Anders Reisen, a German travel association with more than 130 members, mainly SMEs with a strong focus on sustainability. Presentation: What experience has Fòrum Anders Reisen had in terms of human rights assessment in its supply chain?

09:45 to 10:00 Questions and answers.

10:00 to 10:15 Online intervention by Tony Reyhanloo, Corporate Responsibility Project Manager, DER Touristik Swiss, large tour operator, Swiss branch of the DER Touristik Group. Presentation: What experience has DER Touristik Swiss had in the field of human rights protection.

10:15 to 10:30 Questions and answers.

10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Rest.

10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Intervention by Carla Canal, policy coherence technician for Global Justice at Barcelona City Council. Presentation: What is the current status of the legal adoption in Spain of the directive of the European Commission on due diligence in the field of human rights?

1:00 to 11:15 Questions and answers.

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 Practical workshop facilitated by Katharina Stechl, project manager of the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism, with the support of Jesús Martín (president of Aethnic): How to practically implement a due diligence strategy in matter of human rights in travel agencies? 12:15 to 13:00 Debate and exchange of experiences.

Date: Friday, July 1, 2022
Hours: from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Place: Ostelea (C/ Mallorca, 27), room 107
Price: free (with prior registration)
Previous registrations: in this form. Limited places.
Language: Simultaneous translation English-Spanish, Spanish-English
Organized by: Aethnic, Alba Sud, Tourism Watch and Roundtable Human Tights in Tourism
Collaboration: Ostelea
With the support of: Catalan Development Cooperation Agency (ACCD)