ORLANDO, Fla.—Human trafficking of children and adults continues to be a serious issue for the global hospitality industry, as traffickers sometimes use hotels to carry out their illegal operations. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), in partnership with Marriott International, ECPAT-USA, and the Polaris Project, this month will begin offering an online training program to help hotel employees identify and respond to human trafficking at hotel properties.
Your Role in Preventing Human Trafficking: Recognize the Signs, available through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), was developed in response to the growing demand from global hospitality brands for an expansion of the online course, The Role of Hospitality in Preventing and Reacting to Child Trafficking, released by AHLEI and ECPAT-USA in January 2014. The expanded training course provides an overview of the issues of human trafficking, suggested protocols for responding to suspicious activity, and signs of trafficking specific to different hospitality positions (in-room staff, restaurant, lobby, and security).
“Training employees in a variety of roles in hotels is critical, so they can be the eyes and ears of identifying potential survivors in one of the most frequently documented human trafficking venues,” said Courtney Walsh, advisory services, Polaris.
Features of the expanded program include: Information on human trafficking of both children and adults for the purposes of both sex and labor; globalized information to make the program relevant at properties around the world, not just in the United States—currently available in English, the training will eventually be available in 14 additional languages; and content that is compliant with many new city ordinances and state laws requiring hotels to train their employees on human trafficking.
“We are so excited that the update not only broadens training to include both labor and sex trafficking but it is also now relevant on a global level,” said Michelle Guelbart, director of private sector engagement for ECPAT-USA. “The hospitality industry has made such headway in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and we know that with this re-launch, we will see even more progress.”
The new online training program is just one of the many resources available from AHLA to help its members educate their employees about human trafficking. The “Combat Human Trafficking” page in the members-only “Best Practices Center” of AHLA’s new website includes links to:
· Human Trafficking Awareness Poster
· Human Trafficking Indicators card
· Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign
· Child Trafficking Webinar for AHLA members
The page also includes links to human trafficking information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Alliance against Human Trafficking, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Your Role in Preventing Human Trafficking: Recognize the Signs training is available to hotel properties through a license agreement for one year with unlimited users. It is not available for individual sale through AHLEI’s online store. For more information, visit www.ahlei.org/humantrafficking or call 1.800.349.0299 or +1.407.999.8100.