Hotel workers in Kentucky recruited, trained to join fight against human trafficking
The initiative from the Ky. Attorney General's office to have front desk and housekeeping employees watch for possible human trafficking.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's attorney general is recruiting hotel workers to join the fight against human trafficking.
Attorney General Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced a statewide campaign to train front line hotel workers like the front desk and housekeeping to be vigilant against human trafficking.
The "See Something - Say Something - Save a Life!"campaign encourages Kentucky hotel owners to sign a pledge to have their staff complete online human trafficking training. The training warns them to look for signs of sex trafficking and instructs hotel staff on how to safely report the activity.
Beshear says human trafficking is a $32 million industry in the U.S., and the average age of recruitment of victims is between 12 and 14. "In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, there is no such thing as a 'child prostitute.' That child is a victim that needs our help, and that trafficker needs to be brought to justice," he said.
"Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. The International Labor Organization estimates there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide," said Beshear. He added that "26 percent are children that are being trafficked -- each one a child of God that each and every one of us as adults has a duty to protect and serve."
WDRB Media is part of the partnership of organizations supporting the initiative with the AG's office. Other organizations involved include Free2Hope, Catholic Charities of Louisville, the Kentucky Hotel and Lodging Association and the Kentucky Travel Industry Association.
WDRB Media Vice President and General Manager Bill Lamb says he thinks it's important that the media bring more awareness to what he called a "heinous and wicked crime." "I think it is really important that we talk about this, that we make people aware of it more," he said.
This summer Beshear's office provided human trafficking prevention training sessions for 1,500 health care workers, local leaders and law enforcement throughout western Kentucky.
Beshear says his office is currently working 14 human trafficking cases and has assisted local law enforcement in an effort to resolve 96 other human trafficking complaints. He said his office will continue to fight to protect trafficking victims who are often victims of abuse, runaways, refugees and the homeless.
The Kentucky Attorney General's Office of Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Prevention and Prosecution can be reached at 502-696-5300. Catholic Charities of Louisville Rescue and Restore program has a website with more information at http://www.rescueandrestoreky.org. Free2Hope can be reached at www.Free2Hope.org. And the national human trafficking hotline number is 888-373-7888.
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