Hotel associates learn more about human trafficking issues

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Fifteen hotel industry associates attended the event hosted by Bill Silva, hchairman of DHLA, and information was presented by Professor Sheryl Kline Ph.D of the Lerner College, University of Delaware and Bill Sullivan, hotel manager and faculty member of the University of Delaware Hospitality Business Management program.

The content of the training was provided by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the discussion focused on events in Delaware and the region. The event was held at ALICE classroom in the Courtyard by Marriott – Newark at the University of Delaware.

Hotels are one of many venues that traffickers use to exploit their victims. As a result, hospitality industry leaders are increasingly recognizing the unique role they can play in preventing and disrupting this crime.

Traffickers use hotel and motel rooms when setting up encounters between victims of sex trafficking and those individuals purchasing sex.

Labor trafficking is also present in both the hotel industry’s workforce and in the supply chain of its products. This criminal activity presents a great risk for the safety and security of hotel businesses, as well as legitimate hotel customers.

Traffickers are capitalizing on the lack of awareness around this issue within the hotel industry. All too often, they continue to exploit their victims unchecked because staff, managers, and executives do not know what to look for. The session allowed time for discussion of this content and others steps that our industry can take.

Objectives of the program:

  • Define human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children
  • Identify individuals who are most at risk for human trafficking
  • Understand the difference between labor and sex trafficking-specific to the hotel sector
  • Explain the role of hospitality employees in responding to this issue

DHLA will do additional sessions in all three counties of Delaware over the next six weeks.

For more information contact Bill Silva, general manager, The Westin Wilmington Hotel,bill.silva@westinwilmington.com

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