THE AMERICAN HOTEL & Lodging Association and AAHOA are sending the message that there is no room for human trafficking in their members’ hotels. AHLA’s No Room for Trafficking campaign is meant to expand both organization’s long-standing anti-trafficking education programs to every hotel employee in the country.
Hotel industry leaders, government and law enforcement officials and national trafficking prevention organizations like ECPAT-USA, Polaris held a roundtable before the June 26 launch of the campaign in Washington, D.C.. The campaign will include new resources and materials for the associations’ members, including an action plan on human trafficking prevention, along with a member resource guide with information on ways to implement the plan, as well as an anti-trafficking policy template.
Also, AAHOA and AHLA will host a series of regional events over the course of the year leading up to Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January. The events would raise public awareness and encourage collaboration between hoteliers, law enforcement and policymakers on anti-trafficking training and prevention.
“No Room for Trafficking sends a loud and clear message: we will not tolerate human trafficking in the hotel industry,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “Thanks to our dedicated associates, our industry already has a strong record of combating trafficking and supporting survivors. There is still much more to do, and our commitment to training and education will continue to make a difference.”
AAHOA Interim President and CEO Rachel Humphrey joined Rogers at the launching of the campaign.
“The No Room for Trafficking campaign complements current efforts across the industry and will help streamline a comprehensive approach to education, outreach, and training protocols,” she said in a statement. “With brands, organizations, and government agencies all developing anti-trafficking trainings and educational tools, AHLA’s efforts to coordinate activities will help ensure a consistency to our industry’s efforts to end the scourge of human trafficking,”
The joint AHLA/AAHOA regional training events will be part of AAHOA’s Regional Conference and Trade Shows starting with an event in Atlanta in early August. Also, on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, AHLA will launch a Member Day of Action to provide a social media platform for hoteliers across the country to showcase their participation in the No Room for Trafficking campaign. That participation can include employee training seminars, pledging to complete the AHLA Action Plan, and collaborating with national prevention partners to and helping to raise awareness.
“Ending human trafficking requires our industry and our allies to work together closely,” said AAHOA Chairwoman Jagruti Panwala. “By facilitating a dialogue and coordinating the activities of lawmakers, law enforcement, anti-trafficking activists, and hoteliers and hospitality workers, we reaffirm our commitment to keeping these traffickers out of our hotels, and out of our communities.”
Other agencies participating in the campaign include Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), SafeHouse Project, the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign.