Human trafficking is estimated to be a 150 billion dollar industry impacting the lives of an estimated 27.6 million victims worldwide. Traffickers exploit their victims by compelling them to perform labor at little or no pay or to engage in commercial sex. This illegal activity is in every region of the United States and has infiltrated legitimate businesses.
The hospitality sector is especially vulnerable to this illicit activity. Traffickers feel they will go unnoticed while carrying out their nefarious activities. Human trafficking is not only a violation of human rights, but it also presents a great risk to the safety of travelers. Although our industry is vulnerable to human trafficking, we are also uniquely positioned to identify the signs and report the activity.
More states are legislating mandatory training for lodging employees, which does not apply only to hotels. The law varies from state to state regarding required signage, training, and the size of lodging subject to such requirements. Some states are requiring training for lodging establishments as small as two rooms.
Some states, such as Iowa, while not making the training mandatory, require a certificate in training, and lodging providers that have not completed this certification are not eligible to receive public funds as payment for services. That means government employees, including educators, can only stay in certified lodging when traveling for work or organizing conferences. The definition of a lodging provider includes a rooming house and cabins.
The legislation regarding human trafficking signage and training is constantly changing. Check your state for specific laws. See link below.
Laws by state as of July 2022. https://etactics.com/blog/human-trafficking-training-for-hotels
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