A Hotel Owner Crusades to Help the Hotel Industry Fight Human Trafficking
By Amit Prakash
Cancer InCytes Magazine - Volume 5, Issue 1, Summer 2016
Managing Editor: Juliana Zhu, Esq.
What is the greatest challenge to your advocacy efforts regarding hotels and sex trafficking?
Convincing law enforcement and policy makers that hotels are struggling to deal with prostitution and sex trafficking due to lack of clear guidance from legislators. The policies and ordinances created by local and state legislators fail to incorporate the hotel owner’s points of view. The lack of clarity creates challenging circumstances for hotel owners. Also, many hotel franchise and membership organizations fail to recognize the issue with sex trafficking and become defensive. Therefore, the solutions to really finding a solution are inconsistent since every hotel owner is on their own.
Who or what has been the most helpful to your goals against sex trafficking in the hotel industry?
Sacramento Deputy District Attorney Mr. Ron Linthicum and his dedicated team, along with Sacramento County's Supervisor Susan Peters, and the Sacramento Sherriff's Department has been very helpful. They have been working with me to find realistic solutions to prevent sex trafficking and prostitution. Also, they incorporated the voice and concerns of hoteliers to create a strong alliance and to find a long-term solution to the issue, rather than a temporary solution. I absolutely applaud them for all their efforts.
Who or what has been the greatest barrier to your goals against sex trafficking in the hotel industry?
The lack of training programs, of willingness to take responsibility and recognize that the problem is growing – not only in hotel industry but also rapidly as part of AirBNB. The lack of education and training programs create an inconsistency in solutions.
What needs to change in order for hotels to better protect human trafficking victims?
There needs to be a state or federally mandated program for all hotel franchise and independent hotel owners to incorporate a standardized training program for all hotel front desk staff. There needs to be consistency. All hotel franchises should have sex trafficking training and prevention programs as part of their contract, making the franchisee responsible for negligence.
Read more about Amit Prakash at The Sacramento Bee.
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