Hotels Can Increase Awareness & Action to Protect Children from Sex Trafficking

AHLEI training helps raise awareness and equips associates to fight child sex trafficking

As part of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, AHLEI is pleased to share the following guest post from ECPAT-USA.

By Julia Wejchert, Private Sector Engagement Associate, ECPAT-USA

 

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Child sex trafficking is one type of human trafficking that happens across the United States, often in hotel rooms. Most people believe that sex trafficking only happens in budget hotels or hotels close to an airport but luxury or branded hotels may also be used by abusers.

While the hospitality industry is not responsible for the child sex trafficking, it does have an important role to play in helping to stop it. Hotel associates are more likely to witness human trafficking than the average person, and they can play a key role in preventing or disrupting it once they receive training to recognize and properly report suspected incidents.

Increasing Awareness with Training

Training is the mechanism for making hotel associates aware of child sex trafficking. Associates must know that trafficking can happen in any hotel, and how to identify it. The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) partnered with ECPAT-USA to offer training for hotels, which teaches associates about indicators of human trafficking, so they can identify potential instances of trafficking.

ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation.

 

A study of hotels in the United States found that hotels who received training reported that their associates had an increased knowledge of child sex trafficking. Of hotel managers whose hotels received training, 84% said their associates’ awareness of child trafficking increased within the last three years, compared to just 16% of managers whose hotels did not receive training.

Increasing awareness of child sex trafficking is the first step to stopping it.

Equip Hotel Associates to Take Action to Keep Children Safe

In addition to increasing awareness of trafficking and its indicators, training also instructs hotel associates how to respond to any suspected instances of trafficking.

When a specific response procedure is taught, hotel associates will respond appropriately to suspected instances of trafficking. This ensures they represent their brand well, keep children safe, and keep other hotel guests safe from the dangers that traffickers bring.

By providing training to associates, hotels can keep children safe and ensure their brand is represented well. When training is standard, hotels can build a reputation as an industry leader in safety.

Hotels can take action this Human Trafficking Prevention Month by utilizing the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) online training to increase awareness and action against child sex trafficking.

To get involved with ECPAT-USA contact Julia at julia@ecpatusa.org.

About ECPAT-USA: ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of the ECPAT International network, with offices in 93 countries. For more information, visit http://www.ecpatusa.org/code. Contact: (718) 935–9192 or info@ecpatusa.org.