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Hotels and Human Trafficking: Do You Know the Law?

Each state has different laws regarding training and awareness for human trafficking, a new report aims to clarify the requirements.

The hospitality and meeting industries are making strides to combat human trafficking. Marriott has so far trained 500,000 employees to notice the signs; Hyatt and Hilton have educational programs on the issue in place and have signed the End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT) Code of Conduct;  and many other industry organizations have signed The Code as well, including Maritz, the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence, the Professional Convention Management Association, and as of April 4, Meetings Professionals International.

However, the legal requirements for combating human trafficking in the hospitality industry can be confusing and vary by state. To clarify the regulations ECPAT USA launched a new report May 1, Unpacking Human Trafficking: A Survey of State Laws Targeting Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry, at the American Hotel and Lodging Association's annual Hotel Safety Summit in Washington, D.C.

Human trafficking laws in your destination may not be a sourcing consideration for your organization but are still worth noting. Some key findings:

• Only four states mandate human trafficking awareness for individuals working in the lodging industry: California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey

• Eleven states recommend human trafficking awareness training.

• Fourteen states have penalties for not displaying required human trafficking awareness signage mandates: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina.

The report includes a state-by-date rundown of trafficking-related laws, including what hotel signage must be displayed.

The full report can be found here and more information on ending human trafficking for meeting professionals can be found here: Human Trafficking Issue Comes to the Fore.

The AHLA’s Educational Institute has training programs for hospitality workers here and more ECPAT resources are available here

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