China: InterContinental fails to prevent complicity in human rights violations in relation to its planned hotel in Lhasa, Tibet, says civil society group

Thilawa construction by Raphael Olschner

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3 August 2014

China: Free Tibet alleges that InterContinental failed to meet international corporate responsibility & human rights standards in relation to planned Lhasa hotel

Author: Free Tibet

"Part of the DNA? InterContinental Hotels Group and corporate responsibility failures in Tibet", May 2014

In 2010, IHG announced that it would open hotel in Lhasa...Tibet...When specifically invited to do so, IHG made no attempt to demonstrate adherence to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, despite promoting its status as a signatory to the scheme as an indication of its corporate responsibility...InterContinental Hotels Group has provided no evidence that it has conducted due diligence in regard to corporate responsibility over the Lhasa hotel. Specifically, it has not demonstrated that it has taken appropriate steps to avoid complicity with human rights abuses...IHG has also...failed to engage constructively with legitimate stakeholders and to be transparent about its practices and policies. This consistent pattern of failure to account for its behaviour gives rise to strong concerns that the company has not fulfilled its legal and ethical responsibilities...The company's behaviour has been starkly at odds with its own rhetoric on corporate responsibility and global citizenship...

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Company response
29 July 2014

InterContinental Hotels Group response

IHG...take great pride in operating responsibly and in a sustainable way...This will be no different in Lhasa. IHG has a rigorous Code of Ethics and Business Conduct in place...Our hotels not only create jobs but also drive tourism income, thereby helping to increase living standards in those countries where we have a presence...We do this through direct employment - we plan to employ 600 people in Lhasa, at least 40% of which we hope will be local Tibetans - and through the IHG Academy, a pioneering collaboration between IHG hotels and local education providers to give young people skills development and employment opportunities...Finally, we comply with the laws and regulations in each of the countries in which we operate...In China, by law, all guests - regardless of nationality or ethnic background - are registered on check-in using identity documents. This is applicable to all hotels operating in the region.

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