The latest news from Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking
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WA Homeowner Associations Fighting Back Against Human Trafficking

On June 21 BEST presented at the Washington State Community Associations Institute’s (WSCAI) Chapter Luncheon. This presentation may mark the first time in the U.S. that an owner’s association has hosted an event to address the growing number of human trafficking incidents happening within condominiums and housing communities. BEST’s Executive Director, Mar Brettmann, and King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and BEST Advisory Board member, Valiant Richey, provided the keynote address.

For those who might have doubted the impact of human trafficking on a community, a partner in the law firm that hosted the luncheon shared his recent experience handling a human trafficking ring in one of his communities. This narrative alerted everyone about the prevalence of this issue and how human trafficking can negatively impact any condominium, apartment, or housing community, regardless of socioeconomic status.  
[Click here to read more]

Board Spotlight: Michael Maine

By Brooke Wilzen

I had a chance to sit down with BEST’s board president, Michael Maine, and learn a little more about his background, his involvement with BEST and where he draws his inspiration for his work. 
Michael, how did you first become involved with BEST? 
I was first introduced to BEST by former board member Lorinda Rowledge. After being introduced to BEST, I immediately wanted to learn more and become more engaged. I joined the board in 2012.

What motivates you about the mission of BEST? 
I feel strongly that modern-day slavery, in all of its forms, is one of the most vile institutions on the face of the planet. As a descendant of slaves I still feel the effects of the institutionalized forced labor of and genocidal practices towards an entire group of people. The psychological, economic, and social effects permeate throughout not only the victims, but all of us who share this world.
[Click here to read more]

Charges Against Microsoft and Amazon Former Directors Prompts Employers to Explore Policies

Since May, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed charges against numerous men for promoting prostitution involving victims of sex trafficking. When news hit that the men charged included former directors of Microsoft and Amazon, new local employers reached out to BEST to learn how they might prevent this type of scandal and harm by employees. One of the men charged was Sumit Virmani, a former director of worldwide health for Microsoft, and a second was Vivek Asthana, a former director of software development at Amazon who spearheaded the company's FireTV.  [Click here to learn more]

Online Training for Hotel Staff & Managers Launched

When Noel walked through the lobby of a downtown luxury hotel, front desk staff knew that she was heading to meet a sex buyer. What they didn’t know was that Noel had been a victim of sex trafficking at age 15 and had continued to be controlled by a series of pimps, men who were often violent. They didn’t know that overlooking trafficking could harm the reputation of their hotel or pose safety and security risks to hotel guests and staff.
In May 2016, BEST launched online training for hotel staff and managers to understand and respond appropriately to human trafficking in hotels. 
[Click here to learn more]

New Faces at BEST

BEST is growing! We are pleased to welcome two new staff members to the team. Please help us welcome both Brooke Wilzen and Ngoc Nguyen.

Brooke Wilzen brings valuable experience in donor relations and non-profit fundraising. She will take on the role of Community Engagement Manager.

Ngoc Nguyen joined BEST in June as Program Manager. Ngoc brings with her experience working with international non-profits as well as program management skills.

Trafficking in the News

"Obama raises the stakes for multinationals to combat human trafficking." Huffington Post. July 13, 2016. 
[Click here for full story]

"Seattle police set up massage parlor in sex-sting operation, arrest 204 men." The Seattle Times. July 14, 2016 [Click here for full story]
Copyright © 2016 Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking, All rights reserved.

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