Our client is a leader in the hospitality space, with more than 100 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. With a significant footprint in the Gulf region and through the leadership of its Team in Doha, the company approached Ksapa to develop a Human Rights impact assessment, action plan and awareness-raising program.
The proposed engagement was in part motivated by major civil society mobilization around the Human Rights track-record of a major sporting event and the company aspiring to anticipate the corresponding risks and opportunities as an accommodation provider.
Additionally, related Group policies were developed at Group level and indexed against the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They need to be adapted to local operating environment.
In an effort to address both challenges, Ksapa worked hand in hand with headquarters as well as the Qatari staff to finetune property-level implementation of the related Group policies and program.
Leveraging its Human Rights methodology aligned with global standards, Ksapa identified and mapped the Project’s specific Human Rights issues, per the 100+ control points included in the International Bill of Rights. This preliminary assessment was then cross-referenced with a documentary review, designed to select relevant issues for each of the Project’s key rightsholders.
Using global standards and locally-relevant, sector-specific recommendations wherever possible, Ksapa narrowed down the scope of relevant risks (labor rights, health and safety, fundamental liberties, environmental issues…). The latter were then assessed in terms of high, moderate or low Human Rights risks based on the two following dimensions:
- Severity: How many rightsholders could be impacted by a potential violation of the listed rights? Scale ranges froms minor (a minor portion of the rightsholder category is likely to be subjected to Human Rights violations) to critical (a the entire category is likely subject to Human Rights violations).
- Possibility of remediation: Can rightsholders affected by a violation of their rights be restored to their previous state? The scale ranges from minor (any such Human Rights violation can likely be resolved via the appropriate remediation measures) to critical (any such violation is irreparable).
Building on an extensive documentary review, Ksapa developed the corresponding Group Human Rights roadmap:
- Ksapa engaged local staff on Human Rights considerations impacting direct employees, third-party-workers, customers as well as neighboring communities. With feedback from Human Resources, Procurement and Engineering directors, interviews broached labor rights, fundamental liberties, as well as health and safety and environmental considerations.
- With a view to structure Group-wide implementation – and in so doing, adapt to varying levels of maturity on Human Rights issues from one property to another – Ksapa action items differentiate between a baseline, reinforcement and advanced track. Recommendations also cover necessary tools and resources to globally scale the proposed program.
- Key among such resources, Ksapa’s stressed the importance of internal and external stakeholder engagement. For each Human Rights priority, the action plan indeed outlines an ecosystem of key functions and players to engage and inform. It underlines the key input of collaborative initiatives and industrial associations to help the Group address local specificities while streamlining risk remediation and bolstering Group-wide progress over time.
RESULTS & NEXT STEPS
This engagement proved key for the Group to pinpoint Human Rights red flags, a key step in understanding how to progress on Group policy comprehensiveness and monitor property-level implementation. Ksapa’s feedback on select policies and programs proved essential in the Group’s understanding its Human Rights responsibilities in the scope of global events. It likewise demonstrated the resounding call for additional headquarters-level guidance and local staff accountability. As a result, the Group will seek to prioritize Ksapa’s recommended action items while raising the collective bar on Human Rights awareness throughout its various properties. As a next step, the Sutti Digital Suite is explored to provide an agile and cost effective solution deploying training and information content to workers and temporary workers, as well as collecting their insight tracking pertinence and impact of measures deployed across properties.