The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today released Hotel Industry Principles as part of the industry’s long-standing effort to raise awareness of human trafficking and provide hotel operators tools and resources to educate employees on identifying and reporting these crimes. The release of these principles comes on the heels of Senate passage of legislation (S. 178) to help victims of sex trafficking and crack down on perpetrators of this heinous crime.
“As an industry, we recognize that hotels can play an important role in fighting trafficking networks which often rely on legitimate businesses, including hotels, to sustain their illegal operations and infrastructure. With the input of a broad cross-section of the industry, we have developed a set of principles that we believe can help raise awareness, and in turn equip and empower employees to respond and do our part to stop human trafficking,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
“Further, Senate passage of this bill to fight human trafficking is the result of bipartisanship and often difficult negotiations, and we applaud the Senate for their leadership on this issue, and welcome them as partners in the effort to stop these terrible crimes.”
Specifically, AH&LA encourages every hotel company and property to:
- Educate employees to recognize and report instances of trafficking when perpetrated or attempted in or around hotel properties;
- Establish policies and procedures for reporting of instances or suspected instances of trafficking;
- Encourage other companies and parties in the hotel industry to join the fight against trafficking, and collaborate with those companies that have already done so;
- Encourage business partners in the broader travel industry and beyond to educate their employees and take other necessary steps to combat trafficking; and
- Work collaboratively with law enforcement and policymakers so that industry and government initiatives can be appropriately and efficiently integrated into a society-wide effort to combat trafficking.
In addition, AH&LA and its affiliates, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF) and Educational Institute (AHLEI), conduct ongoing education and training efforts to provide hotel employees with tools and resources to understand how these criminals operate on a hotel and help spot the victims and apprehend the criminals. AH&LA, AHLEF and AHLEI funded and developed an online training program in partnership with End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT USA), https://www.ahlei.org/demos/ecpat/index.html. The training program is available for sale to AHLA members and non-members, and 50% of the proceeds go to ECPAT USA to further their efforts.
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.
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