Home Publisher's Point of View Industry Work on Human Trafficking Just the Beginning

Industry Work on Human Trafficking Just the Beginning

Glenn Hasek

Do a search on “trafficking” on the Green Lodging News website and you will find almost 130 articles that mention it. In recent months, human trafficking has been getting a lot more attention. That is mostly a good thing because the media attention primarily has been focused on efforts by hotel companies and associations to prevent, recognize and stop this madness that affects 40 million people around the globe.

Just prior to Super Bowl, for example, the hotel industry convened the National Football League, national and local Florida organizations and human trafficking prevention groups to kick off a month-long series of events to raise awareness about human trafficking. Due to an influx of visitors during large events such as the Super Bowl, increased instances of human trafficking can occur.

Last month, IHG intensified its ongoing effort to fight human trafficking. The company introduced new programs, tools and resources for colleagues to increase awareness and aid prevention of human trafficking, including a free training available to all IHG-branded hotels worldwide, including more than 4,200 properties in the Americas.

In December, the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Assn. (SCRLA) announced a new partnership with the Seattle-based nonprofit, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) to make human trafficking awareness training available to all SCRLA members and their employees, free of charge.

These are just a few examples of the many activities taking place throughout our industry to train hotel employees on how to spot and stop trafficking. (See the AHLA’s No Room for Trafficking campaign and AAHOA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Training.) ECPAT is another great resource to tap into.

Have your property’s employees been properly trained? It is not something you want to delay.

Lawsuit Filed Against Wyndham, Choice, G6

Trafficking caught my attention this past week for the wrong reason. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center announced it had filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, seeking damages against Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc., Choice Hotels International, Inc. and G6 Hospitality, LLC., for facilitating and profiting from the sex trafficking of a minor. The plaintiff, B.M., was 16 years old when her trafficking began at the defendant hotels in 2014 and lasted for years.

According to Benjamin Bull, General Counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, “The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law is seeking damages on behalf of the plaintiff, who was forced to perform sex acts with 10 to 20 men a day in rooms rented by her traffickers at Super 8, Clarion Inn, and Motel 6 for two years starting at age 16. We are seeking some degree of justice for this survivor of child sex trafficking, though we can never undo the immense harm she suffered.”

You can read more details in the article I posted but the lawsuit alleges that in one instance one of the plaintiff’s traffickers had a personal relationship with the front desk employee at the Motel 6, and through this, the trafficker was able to secure a room in the back of the hotel, and be notified when law enforcement officials were on or hear the premises. That a hotel employee was allegedly enabling the trafficking to continue is alarming.

“Our hope is that this lawsuit serves notice to prevent any future sex trafficking from taking place at these hotels and others, and to ensure that the hotel industry is held to account,” Bull concluded.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has repeatedly called on hotel chains to address issues of sexual exploitation that are rampant in this industry through its No Vacancy Campaign. The organization just released its 2020 Dirty Dozen list and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts was included on that list along with companies such as Amazon and Google.

As much as our industry is doing to recognize, stop and report human trafficking, it will not be enough until ALL lodgings become safe havens instead of opportunities for exploitation. It just takes one bad incident to dirty all the progress a company or industry has made.

Your thoughts? I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Green Lodging News Adds Hotel Emporium to Product & Service Directory

Green Lodging News has added Hotel Emporium to the “Amenities/Dispensers/Toiletries” section of its Green Product & Service Directory. Hotel Emporium has just introduced Eco Pod by Terra Green, sustainable innovation giving hotels worldwide a one-stop solution to face plastic waste and bacteria contamination arising from bulk liquid dispensers. The packaging is fully compostable with bamboo, sugarcane, and wood fibers, plus soy-based ink printing. It is a waste stackable product containing up to four uses, ensuring a bacteria-free environment and easy disposal. It is a water-activated, powder-based amenity collection allowing lighter transportation and lower carbon footprint. The current range includes shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

As a leader in manufacturing guest care products servicing 11,000+ hotels worldwide, Hotel Emporium is fully committed to sustainability by what it refers to as Ecolosophy. Ecolosophy is its fully integrated Sustainability Awareness Program to have an Environmentally Friendly Work Place and Manufacturing Practices, the promotion of Environmentally Friendly Products, and aiding Proactive Sustainable Organizations.

For more information, contact Jennifer Bojovic at (224) 323-0898, or by e-mail at jbojovic@hotelemporium.com. You may also click here to visit the company’s website.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Get in the Green Suppliers Spotlight!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, now publishes Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 20,537 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

Planning Advertising for 2020?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2020. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2020 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

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As always, I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.