Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry impacting 40 million people across the globe. As a result, traffickers go to extreme lengths to carry out their illicit activity including exploiting legitimate businesses, especially those in the tourism supply chain, to carry out their illicit activities.
The hotel industry has long recognized the critical role it plays in ending the scourge of trafficking, including by providing their employees with training to identify and report instances of human trafficking. Yet, despite this long-standing commitment, there was little public awareness about the industry’s leadership and work to train their employees in trafficking prevention.
The hotel industry wanted to send a loud and clear message: in hotels, there is no room for human trafficking. AHLA’s goal was to make a lasting difference in the fight against trafficking by serving as a unifying voice, bringing the industry together around one united approach to combat human trafficking. At the same time, it was their mission to provide their membership with access to resources and partnerships to ensure employees at all properties, from large high-rises to small road-side inns, were equipped with the training and resources to recognize and report human trafficking.
Determined to be a part of the solution to help eradicate trafficking, we worked with AHLA to launch the “No Room for Trafficking,” a campaign to train hotel employees on the vital role they can play in disrupting these crimes and helping victims while at the same time building collaborative partnerships with law enforcement and elected officials.
In June 2019, working hand in hand with PLUS, AHLA announced the No Room for Trafficking campaign, a national campaign to unite the industry around a single, comprehensive approach to fight human trafficking with the goal of training 100 percent of employees in trafficking prevention. The campaign has been covered in media outlets across the country and has been praised by leading government and law enforcement officials, including Governors Kim Reynolds and Brian Kemp as well as the Department of Homeland Security, as well as world-renowned leaders in trafficking prevention including ECPAT-USA and Polaris.
To mark Trafficking Awareness Month in January 2019, AHLA joined with the National Football League (NFL) Foundation, the Super Bowl Host committee, law enforcement and elected officials to launch a targeted effort in Miami to combat trafficking ahead of Super Bowl LIV. As a result of the unified efforts, strategic partnerships with law enforcement and public awareness campaign, the Miami Herald reported that 47 traffickers were arrested and 22 survivors were saved during Super Bowl weekend in Miami.
PLUS also produced a public service announcement (PSA) to promote the campaign and AHLA’s efforts, which has been used as part of a digital and television advertising campaign and at regional training events.
The No Room for Trafficking Campaign won a SABRE Award for Non-Corporate, Best in Associations and was nominated for three PRWeek Purpose Awards, including Best Collaboration, Best Integration into Culture and Best Public Awareness, and received an honorable mention for Best Integration into Culture. It was also nominated as a finalist for PRWeek’s 2021 Awards for Best in Public Affairs, and Best in Corporate Social Responsibility.