JULY 30 IS World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, a United Nations program to promote awareness of human trafficking and efforts to prevent it. This year hotel industry associations made the day part of their own efforts to combat the crime that so often takes place in hotels.
The UN General Assembly designated World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in 2013 as part of its revisions to the assembly’s Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons created in 2010. The resolution creating it states it is necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has collected information on about 225,000 victims of trafficking detected worldwide since 2003. Almost all who are trafficked for sexual exploitation and 35 percent of those trafficked for forced labor are female, according to the UN.
“Human trafficking is a terrible crime that targets and exploits the most vulnerable members of our society,” AAHOA Interim President and CEO Rachel Humphrey said in a statement.
Humphrey highlighted AAHOA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Trainings it developed with Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) and Polaris to offer hoteliers and their employees a comprehensive online training on trafficking, including how to identify the signs and respond. The association also partners with the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to provide educational materials and signage as part of an ongoing awareness campaign at AAHOA conferences, town halls, and trade shows.
“We are also pleased to be a part of the No Room for Trafficking campaign with the American Hotel and Lodging Association,” Humphrey said. “Our industry is strongest when we act together. Our efforts can help save lives and bring an end to trafficking.”
On Tuesday AHLA held its No Room for Trafficking Day of Action in which hoteliers nationwide host training sessions for employees, raise awareness on their properties and pledge their commitment to the No Room for Trafficking Action Plan.
“In the fight against human trafficking, the hotel industry is united in our commitment to being part of the solution,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “By taking action to provide human trafficking awareness training for our employees and the sharing of hotel industry best practices, we hope to serve as an example for other industries, while finding new opportunities to partner across the tourism sector and those joining us in this important fight.”
Human trafficking has been a major issue for AHLA and AAHOA. In January, both organizations and some hotel companies observed National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, during which they reviewed their protocols for identifying and preventing human trafficking.