New Partnership is Expanding Human Trafficking Prevention Training to Hotels in Pennsylvania

BEST has partnered up with the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA)
June 19, 2019

BEST has partnered up with the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA) to make human trafficking awareness training available to all of PRLA’s hotel members and their staffs. Starting last month, BEST began providing our online Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training, sponsored by AAHOA, to PRLA’s members in order to help front line hotel employees across Pennsylvania learn the indicators of human trafficking and how to safely report it to law enforcement.

Human trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses to sustain their operations and infrastructure. Given the transient nature of the hotel industry, with its service-focused culture that respects guest privacy, hotels are an ideal environment for human traffickers. So it is essential that hotel employees, who have direct contact with guests, are trained in what to look for—so they can recognize the signs of human trafficking.

“There is no easy fix to the problem of human trafficking, but combating this crime starts with awareness,” says Mar Brettmann, Executive Director for BEST. “That’s why our new partnership with PRLA is so important. They are making our human trafficking awareness training free to all their hospitality members and staffs. We know that educating employees about the warning signs of human trafficking can help witnesses know when to report suspicious behavior, and this helps recover more human trafficking victims.”  

BEST’s Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training for hotel employees is a 30-minute, online, video-based training. The training is available in English or Spanish, and it has been proven to increase hotel employee reporting. Researchers from the University of Washington evaluated BEST's hotel training and found trained employees were more likely to come forward to report human trafficking incidents to their mangers. Researchers also learned 96 percent of hotel employee participants believe the training made their hotel safer.

This new partnership will give more hospitality property owners and managers across the Commonwealth the opportunity to implement BEST’s valuable anti-trafficking training, and this will help prevent human traffickers from being able to use Pennsylvania hotels to carry out their exploitation and crimes.

“Everyone has a role in fighting human trafficking. Our industry is well-positioned to recognize and report it, so we want to ensure our members have access to the right training so they know what to look for. We chose to partner with BEST because BEST offers outstanding online training that will equip our members and their employees to take action when they suspect a problem," said John Longstreet, PRLA President & CEO.