Washington, D.C. – January 30, 2017 – As Human Trafficking Awareness Month comes to a close, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), ECPAT-USA and Polaris have continued to raise awareness of the critical need to combat human trafficking. Recognizing that trafficking of children and adults remains a serious issue for the global hospitality industry, as traffickers often use hotels to carry out their illegal operations, AHLA has continued to encourage its members, along with academic institutions and hospitality schools, to use its online training program to help hoteliers identify and respond to human trafficking at hotel properties.

Your Role in Preventing Human Trafficking: Recognize the Signs, developed by the by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, ECPAT-USA and Polaris, provides an overview of the issues of human trafficking, suggested protocols for responding to suspicious activity, and signs of trafficking specific to different hospitality positions (in-room staff, restaurant, lobby, and security).

“AHLA believes strongly that the hotel industry must continue to do everything it can to raise awareness of human trafficking and train hotel workers on the vital role that they can play in helping victims,” said Craig Kalkut, AHLA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “We are thankful for the partnerships we have developed in this endeavor with organizations like Polaris and ECPAT-USA; these organizations do incredible work every day and have helped our industry bolster its response to human trafficking.”

“Training employees in a variety of roles in hotels is critical, so they can be the eyes and ears of identifying potential survivors in one of the most frequently documented human trafficking venues,” said Courtney Walsh, Manager of Corporate and Strategic Partnerships, Polaris. 

“ECPAT-USA welcomes the American Hotel and Lodging Association's support and echoes their message that increased training will help identify victims of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement for ECPAT USA. “We are encouraged by the number of companies who directly engage with our organization and know that the recently globalized training will help continue these efforts."

The online training program is just one of the many resources available from AHLA to help its members educate their employees about human trafficking. Visit https://www.ahla.com/combat-human-trafficking to access links to:

  • Human Trafficking Awareness Poster
  • Human Trafficking Indicators card
  • Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign
  • Child Trafficking Webinar for AH&LA members

The page also includes links to human trafficking information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Alliance Against Human Trafficking, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.


About the Online Training Program to Prevent Human Trafficking

AHLA’s original online human trafficking training, released in January 2014, was updated and expanded by Marriott International, ECPAT-USA, Polaris, and AHLEI. The new training was made available to the public in late 2016.

About the American Hotel and Lodging Association

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry that advances long-term career opportunities for employees, invests in local communities across the country and hosts more than one billion guests’ stays in American hotels every year. AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and generates nearly $170 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments. Learn more at www.AHLA.com.