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The latest news from Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking
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National Partnership Announced with AAHOA

The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is now partnering with BEST to prevent the victimization of children, women, and men across the nation. AAHOA is the largest hotel owner's association in the world, with its members owning almost 1 in every 2 hotels in the United States. 

“AAHOA is to be commended for leading the fight to keep U.S. communities safe from this devastating crime,” said BEST Executive Director, Dr. Mar Brettmann. AAHOA is raising awareness among its members and was a major sponsor for a new online training program for hotels, called Inhospitable to Human Trafficking. The training (available at www.training.bestalliance.org) teaches hotel owners and managers about human trafficking and how to prevent it from occurring on hotel properties. 

“Our members want to lead the fight against human trafficking in the US,” said AAHOA CEO, Chip Rogers. “Our members know that a key to success in the lodging industry is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our guests. Making hotels inhospitable to human trafficking is not only good for victims and the community, it’s a smart business decision.”

BEST is excited for this new partnership because members of AAHOA own more than 50% hotels in the US, including 70% of owner-operated properties. The partnership opens up new avenues to reach a broader hotel-owner base than ever before and make significant impacts on human trafficking prevention. 

Atlanta Joins Forces with BEST

The Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force and BEST broke new ground in October by gathering business leaders from across metro Atlanta to discuss how businesses can prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of Georgia’s children, women and men.

“Georgia businesses are already providing financial support and volunteers but when employers learn about this issue, they want to do more,” said BEST Director, Mar Brettmann. “The BEST Employers Alliance was founded to provide resources for employers to be more actively involved in prevention efforts by also creating jobs for survivors and by establishing policies and training to uphold the rights of the sexually exploited."

The BEST Employers Alliance is a partnership of public and private employers who are working to prevent sex trafficking by: (a) donating time and services, (b) providing employment, and (c) aligning internal practices.

Phyllis Finley, Executive Vice President at Randstad, the world’s 2nd largest HR service provider, explained that Randstad strategically partners with organizations that complement the company's efforts to shape the world of work and benefit the communities in which Randstad operates. 
[Click here to read more]

Board Spotlight: Sophia Lee Shin

Sophia Lee Shin, an associate at K&L Gates, has been a BEST board member since 2015. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she received her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

What drew you to first get involved in human trafficking issues? 
I have always been drawn to social justice and community service, but I discovered my passion for human rights advocacy while in college. My passion for human rights is what pushed me to pursue a career in law; I went to law school because I knew that a deeper understanding of the rule of law would allow me to better address the many issues in the field of human rights.

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to work as an intern for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. During law school, I worked as an intern in the Manila Office of International Justice Mission, assisting in the prosecution of alleged child sex traffickers. When the opportunity came to join BEST’s board, I was thrilled to be able to participate again in the work of promoting and protecting human rights. 

What inspired you to join the BEST board? 
I am motivated by BEST’s mission. I appreciate that BEST sees the potential in what I believe is an under-utilized space—partnerships between the non-profit and private sectors to solve complex problems of human trafficking. 
 [Click here to read more]

Labor Trafficking in our Backyard

The following article, written by a survivor of human trafficking, demonstrates that U.S. businesses are being used to traffic laborers. This horrific form of modern day slavery is taking place in our own cities.

Rathish Pandian grew up in Tamil Nadu, Southern India, but fled to the U.S. as an adult after being threatened by government authorities for his political views. Upon arrival here, he was offered a job by another immigrant from his country at a Subway restaurant, but his trafficker took his documents, and threatened to call immigration officials at the Department of Homeland Security if Rathish complained. “I didn’t know I’d be in the same situation of exploitation in the United States as the one I left India,” he said. For nearly five years, Rathish was not compensated for the work that he did, and was subjected to long hours and harsh working conditions. Finally, he persuaded a friend to help him escape his trafficker. 
[Click here to read more]

This story was originally posted on October 1, 2016 by Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, a founding partner of the Multifaith Coalition to Address Human Trafficking

Shop Amazon Smile

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your edible purchases to Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking when you use amazon smile. Visit Smile.Amazon.com and select Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking as your non-profit beneficiary! 

Human Trafficking Town Hall 

Each January, several Seattle area non-profits come together to raise awareness around human trafficking in King County and beyond at a special Town Hall Seattle event. The event is set for the evening of January 24, 2017. The theme for this year's event will center around trafficked young men and boys, who are an often overlooked segment of sex trafficked victims. Mark your calendars and be sure to stay tuned for more updates. 

Trafficking in the News

"Ex-Amazon manager sentenced for role in internet prostitution ring." The Puget Sound Business Journal. November 9, 2016
[Click here for full story]
"C.E.O. of Backpage.com, Known for Escort Ads, Is Charged with Pimping a Minor." The New York Times. October 6, 2016. 
[Click here for full story]
Copyright © 2016 Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking, All rights reserved.

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P.O. Box 14512, Seattle, WA 98114 | info@bestalliance.org
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