AH&LA, AAHOA host trafficking awareness event in Georgia

Much of the challenges around countering human trafficking and sexual exploitation in hospitality are a result of misconceptions, so let's dispel them.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association launched its No Room for Trafficking campaign in July. Photo credit: Gettyimages/Professor25

The American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association hosted a human trafficking awareness event yesterday in Atlanta with Georgia’s governor, first lady, attorney general and lawmakers. The event is part of a wave of regional events following the launch of the AH&LA’s No Room for Trafficking campaign and AAHOA’s digital Human Trafficking Awareness Training offering.

“Thanks to our members across the country, our industry is leading the charge to combat human trafficking and support survivors,” Chip Rogers, president/CEO of the AH&LA, said in a statement. “As we continue to build on this legacy of trafficking prevention and awareness, today we are proud to partner with Governor [Brian] Kemp, First Lady [Marty] Kemp, Attorney General [Chris] Carr and so many other Georgia lawmakers who are all playing a critical role in the fight against trafficking.”

"The hospitality industry is committed to equipping hoteliers and their employees with the necessary tools to keep trafficking out of their hotels and communities," Rachel Humphrey, interim president and CEO of AAHOA, said in a statement. "The education and training resources that AAHOA, [AH&LA] and GHLA provide to the hospitality industry play a critical role in saving lives by ensuring hotel staff are trained to identify instances of trafficking and are prepared to take immediate action."

The event, held at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta hotel, hosted hundreds of Atlanta-area hotel employees for a human trafficking prevention training session. At the event, Marty Kemp, co-chair of the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education Commission, spoke about the state’s efforts to tackle human trafficking, hold bad actors accountable and support survivors. Spearheaded by Kemp, the commission’s members include Attorney General Chris Carr, top law enforcement officials, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, faith-based institutions and public safety experts.

“Through the GRACE Commission, Georgia has made significant progress in the fight to end human trafficking and we’re proud that the hotel industry is playing a leading role by continuing to train their associates on identifying and reporting human trafficking both here in Georgia and across the country,” Kemp said in a statement. “We know there is always more to be done in this fight, and we are committed to working alongside partners like the hotel industry to end trafficking.”

In August, the AH&LA and AAHOA hosted a similar event in Des Moines, Iowa, with the state’s Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Joni Ernst. The next regional event will be held in Austin, Texas, later this month.

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