Tu Rinsche is passionate about leveraging social innovations that help people live better and more sustainably. In her current role at Marriott International, Rinsche is responsible for global human rights issues across a portfolio of 30 unique brands. She lends her expertise and leadership to drive Marriott’s core value in promoting ethical conduct by advancing human rights within business policies and operations. She also serves as the CSR brand leader for The Ritz-Carlton and its social and environmental responsibility program, Community Footprints.
Previously, she worked on human rights issues at The Walt Disney Company, co-developing and leading a multi-million dollar social innovation fund that supports human rights projects in promoting ethical sourcing, particularly within the consumer products industry. At the U.S. Department of State, she focused on global forced and child labor issues and programs, serving as the lead on child soldier and cocoa labor issues, as well as corporate social responsibility issues in Africa for the Human Rights Bureau. She has also served as a W.A.S.H. volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Mauritania and promoted awareness-raising campaigns focused on preventable disease. Rinsche’s introductory foray into human rights started 20 years ago with Amnesty International as a volunteer human rights teacher in Washington, D.C.
Christopher P. Skroupa: What role do you feel multinational companies play in curbing forced labor?
Tu Rinsche: As someone who has developed programs to prevent and mitigate human rights issues for two multinational companies in two different industries, I don’t believe that there is a multinational company out there that condones forced labor in their business. However, business has an important and powerful role to play to address human rights issues and fight forced labor and human trafficking. For example, Marriott International is committed to conducting business ethically and advancing human rights wherever it operates. The company has had a human rights policy in place since 2006, which it updated in 2017 to reflect the changing human rights landscape and growing expectations of companies around ethical recruitment and human trafficking. At the beginning of 2017, the company also proactively implemented a mandatory human trafficking training program across all Marriott-branded properties worldwide – educating on-property associates on the signs of human trafficking and forced labor, specifically what signs to look out for and how to report. While this is a multiyear effort, the plan is to report out on specific metrics and progress annually as part of the new Serve 360 human rights goals launched last fall. Multinational companies all can play a positive role and if we do it together, we can make a larger impact to stop forced labor.
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