BEST strives to create a world in which no one is trafficked. We recognize that the key to preventing human trafficking and increasing the reporting of trafficking incidents lies in educating employees. Front line staff who work directly with the general public can witness the warning signs of human trafficking and report it. That's why BEST recently joined forces with three more state hotel associations to provide human trafficking awareness training. The Washington Hospitality Association, the California Hotel and Lodging Association, and the North Carolina Restaurantand Lodging Association have all recently partnered with BEST to offer Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training to their members.
BEST's training explains the truth about human trafficking in hotels, and helps staff recognize potential human trafficking situations and report suspected trafficking activity to their managers. Hotel management can then contact law enforcement to safely intervene and recover victims. BEST’s training has been proven to increase hotel staff reporting, and survey results show that after receiving training, 96 percent of hotel employee participants believe that BEST’s training made their hotel safer.
By partnering with these large state hotel associations, BEST’s Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training will now be free to more than 7,800 lodging facilities throughout Washington, California and North Carolina.
The Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation partnered with BEST in January 2019 to begin offering training to their Washington Hospitality Association members’ and their teams free of charge. This was not the first time BEST has joined forces with the association. The two have been partners in trafficking prevention work since 2012. Both organizations are active participants with the Washington State Task Force Against the Trafficking of Persons, and both have been instrumental in driving human trafficking prevention work in Washington state.
“We are woven into the fabric of the daily lives of our guests and team members,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. “As a result, hospitality industry leaders are recognizing the important role we play in preventing and ending this crime. Hotels take profound pride and responsibility in serving and protecting all guests.”
The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA) was instrumental in pushing the California State Legislature to pass Senate Bill 970 (Atkins), which was signed into law in September 2018. This new law requires that California lodging establishments provide at least 20 minutes of training and education in human trafficking awareness to each employee who is likely to interact with victims of this crime. California now requires that hotels provide their staff with human trafficking awareness training by January 2020 and re-train every two years. CHLA partnered with BEST in January 2019 to begin providing training for their members to help California hotels meet this new requirement.
“Our industry is a long-time advocate in the prevention, identification and notification of human trafficking. By working closely with Senator Atkins last year on SB 970, we ensured our shared goal of consistently and effectively training our employees to spot and report incidents of human trafficking was met,” said Lynn S. Mohrfeld, President and CEO of CHLA. “We are confident that the training provided by BEST will allow the California hotel industry to be a leader in the battle against human trafficking, while helping to protect employees and innocent victims.”
Recognizing the hotel industry’s proximity to the activities of human trafficking, Lynn Minges, President & CEO of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA), sought the expertise of BEST to help protect North Carolina’s hoteliers and to help ensure the safety of their guests. NCRLA partnered with BEST in February 2019 to provide free human trafficking training for NCRLA hotel members and their employees. By partnering with BEST to offer this free training, NCRLA is now offering their hotel and lodging members a way to educate hotel employees to help prevent human trafficking.
“We have a responsibility to our members and to the communities we serve to be educated about the serious issue of human trafficking,” said Minges. “We have a unique opportunity to have a significant impact tackling this humanitarian crisis if we equip our employees to recognize and report any suspected trafficking activity.”