Commitment to the Protection of Human Rights
NH Hotel Group is commited to complying with human rights and works to prevent and manage risks associated to the breach of such rights. This is reflected in the Company’s Corporate Responsibility Policy and in its Code of Conduct, which establishes the objective of leading the sector’s commitment to ethics, the protection of Human Rights and the fight against abuse and human trafficking.Furthermore, NH Hotel Group is adhered to the United Nations Global Compact and as such, it supports and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that contemplate the protection and promotion of fundamental human rights.Another worldwide frame of reference for NH Hotel Group is the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, approved in 1999 by the Assembly of the United National World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This code, designed to guide the leading players in tourism development, comprises a set of 10 principles that aspire to help to maximize the profits of the sector while at the same time minimizing their impact on the environment, cultural heritage and local communities.In line with this, in September 2012 NH Hotel Group signed up to ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) for the protection of children against sexual exploitation in tourism, also promoted by the UNWTO and UNICEF.
NH Hotel Group’s Code of Conduct
The NH Hotel Group Code of Conduct is the document that serves as a framework for the Company’s commitment to Human Rights. Its aim is to determine the values, principles, and rules that are to govern the conduct and actions of each of the employees of NH Hotel Group, as well as of the members of the management bodies of the companies that make up the Group.
The Code is also applicable to the Company’s main stakeholders: customers, suppliers, competitors, shareholders and other groups of people, as well as the communities in which NH operates its business.
In the Code of Conduct, NH Hotel Group acknowledges that Human Rights are fundamental and universal rights, and should be interpreted and recognized in accordance with international law and practice, in particular the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles proclaimed by the International Labour Organization.
Relations between all stakeholders to which the Code applies must always be based on respect for dignity and non-discrimination of persons. The Company rejects any conduct, behaviour or action that seeks to foster, promote or incite, directly or indirectly, hate, hostility, discrimination or violence against a group, for racist reasons or other reasons relating to ideology, religion or beliefs, family situations, membership of an ethnicity, race or nation, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or identity, for reasons of gender, illness or disability.
NH Hotel Group firmly prohibits any kind of hostile or humiliating act against persons, abuse of authority and any kind of harassment, whether physical or psychological, as well as any other conduct that could generate an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment for individuals. Furthermore, no type of child employment or forced labour is tolerated.
On the other hand, the Company recognizes that the principle of equality of treatment and opportunities for the addressees of the Code of Conduct is a principle that inspires the Human Resources policies and is applied both to the hiring of employees and to training, career opportunities or salary levels, as well as to other aspects of the employee’s labor relations.
The Code of Conduct also prohibits the imposition on employees of working and safety conditions that damage, suppress or limit the rights recognized in their favor by legal provisions, collective agreements or individual contracts. No form of illegal labor trafficking or fraudulent emigration is permitted, and legislation on foreign nationals and on the entry and movement of foreigners will be respected at all times.
Furthermore, the Code explicitly establishes that the exercising of the rights of demonstration, association, trade union and collective bargaining in the framework of the rules regulating each of these fundamental rights will not be unduly limited.
Any possible breaches of Human Rights will be handled through the Internal Audit Department, which is responsible for managing the Group’s Whistleblowing Channel (email@example.com). During 2018, no complaint has been received relating to a possible breach of human rights.
Initiatives for the Protection of Human Rights
The Group is part of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), a worldwide platform for leading companies in the hotel sector that share a common commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. This organization establishes four main objectives which include the protection and promotion of human rights, a goal subscribed and supported by NH Hotel Group.
In 2018, the 16 NH Hotel Group hotels located in Mexico started a process of voluntary adhesion to the National Code of Conduction for the protection of girls, boys and adolescents in the travel and tourism sector, the aim of which is to prevent and combat human trafficking with special emphasis on child exploitation, and which is promoted by the Secretariat of Tourism of the Government of the Republic (SECTUR). In addition, training will be offered to employees for the prevention of human trafficking and child exploitation.
Human Rights in the Supplier Chain
In 2018, the Compliance Committee of NH Hotel Group approved the Code of Conduct which defines the values, principles and rules governing the ethical and responsible behaviour and action of all suppliers.
This Code will apply to all suppliers who have signed an Approved Supplier Agreement with the Coperama Group –central procurement platform for NH Hotel Group hotels– and are involved in the processes of selling, manufacturing, marketing, distributing and delivering products and services for the centres and hotels that contract directly with the supplier.
This conduct framework promotes compliance with principles related to respect for human rights, employees’ rights, ruling labor law, the prohibition of child labor and forced or coerced labor, the elimination of discriminatory practices, compliance with working, health, safety and risk prevention conditions and the fight against fraud, bribery and corruption, among others.
Furthermore, a specific communication channel is set up for sending and managing complaints (firstname.lastname@example.org). The procedure for reporting and dealing with possible breaches of the Code of Conduct and complaints will be administered by the Group’s Senior Vice President of Audit.