Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, organizations around the world re-evaluated their workplace environments and practices. At Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST), a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that educates employers across the country on human trafficking, re-evaluating their Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training was a top priority.
Since launching Inhospitable to Human Trafficking, an online or in-person training specific to the hospitality industry, BEST has trained 50,000 employees from more than 10,000 hotels and lodgings in all fifty states and Canada. The training discusses how to recognize red flags and what to do depending on the unique scenarios that hotel managers, housekeepers, security, and front-desk staff may encounter.
But racial stereotypes about what people who are trafficked look like are pervasive. Mar Brettmann, PhD, the founder and Executive Director of BEST, stated that, “Even though research shows that trafficking survivors are disproportionately likely to be BIPOC, there is a prevailing stereotype that only young, white women are trafficked. We had to do more to address this bias in our presentations.”
BEST consulted with survivor advocates to directly address the implicit bias against BIPOC people in trafficking situations through compelling interviews and realistic scenarios based on the survivors’ experiences. The new Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training also explains what implicit bias is and asks the viewer questions throughout the training to identify any biases they might unknowingly have.
The Asian-American Hospitality Association (AAHOA), whose members represent nearly 50% of all motels in the United States, is one of BEST’s largest ITT training partners. AAHOA announced the updated training with AAHOA branding to their thousands of members nationwide this month.
The Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training is available online at https://www.bestalliance.org/hospitality.