Des Moines, Iowa – On August 13th, Governor Kim Reynolds and Senator Joni Ernst partnered with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) to raise awareness across the state for a unified approach to combat human trafficking. As part of this effort, they will join the hotel industry for a human trafficking prevention training session with hotel employees at the Holiday Inn Mercy Campus in Des Moines.
The training session comes on the heels of the launch of AHLA’s No Room for Trafficking campaign and AAHOA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Training, which builds upon the hotel industry’s long standing commitment to combatting human trafficking by training every hotel worker. Each year, thousands of hotel employees are trained on how to identify and stop trafficking, and this campaign unites the industry around the shared goal to end human trafficking
“Thanks to our dedicated hoteliers across the country, our industry already has a strong record of combating trafficking and supporting survivors. Today, we are thrilled to continue building on this legacy by partnering with Governor Reynolds and Senator Ernst, who are playing a critical role in the fight against human trafficking here in Iowa and throughout the United States,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “While there is still much more to do, we believe our partnership with lawmakers as well as our commitment to training and education will continue to make a difference.”
This event is the first in a series of regional events across the country where the hotel industry will partner with lawmakers and human trafficking prevention partners to raise public awareness and facilitate collaboration with government, law enforcement and hoteliers on best practices for policies, procedures and training to enhance our human trafficking prevention efforts.
“Iowa is committed to leading the charge in the fight against human trafficking, and we are proud to partner with the hotel industry to prevent these horrific acts,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Iowa has already made significant strides in training hotel employees on the signs of trafficking, but there is more to be done to win the war on human trafficking.”
“Collaborating with our industry partners and across all levels of government, Iowa is leading the fight to combat human trafficking. I’m proud to join with the hotel industry and to be a part of their efforts to train every employee in trafficking prevention. Working together, we can end trafficking not only in Iowa, but across the country,” said Sen. Joni Ernst.
“Hoteliers and their employees are the first line of defense to combat human trafficking in the hospitality industry. Education and training initiatives by AAHOA, AHLA, and brands continue to help hotel staff identify traffickers and the victims they exploit and take appropriate action that can save lives,” said Rachel Humphrey, interim president and CEO of AAHOA. “Our industry’s efforts are strengthened when elected officials, such as Senator Ernst and Governor Reynolds, partner with us to raise awareness of this serious issue that affects communities not just here in Iowa but across the nation.”
The hotel industry has long recognized the critical role it plays in ending human trafficking, and through innovative techniques and employee training has played an instrumental role in identifying, reporting, and stopping instances of human trafficking.