ConferenceDirect Empowers Its Employees to Help Stop Human Trafficking
Last month, full-service global meetings solution company, ConferenceDirect, provided 23 of its associates with the opportunity to learn how to identify and help stop a growing problem in the hospitality industry: human trafficking.
At the company’s Annual Partner Meeting on March 28 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, the ConferenceDirect employees completed a Human Trafficking Awareness course presented by the Los Angeles Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), which works to identify human trafficking cases in the Los Angeles region and offers a variety of local public speaking engagements including specialized training in identifying trafficking victims.
Led by Becca Channell, CAST task force coordinator, the certification course provided a practical introduction to the issue; shared real case studies in the hospitality industry to help associates understand the scenarios they might come across in their day-to-day work, and provided tools and resources to identify and respond effectively to a suspected human trafficking case.
“ConferenceDirect understands this is a growing issue and being in the hospitality industry, many of our Associates travel often and could potentially witness cases,” explained Larry Hanson, ConferenceDirect CMO.
He continued, “Now they will be able to be more alert to these situations and know how to handle them with the tools they learned: how to identify a suspected case and what to do when you witness something.”
According to the International Labour Organization and CAST, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise of the 21st century, with California, Florida and New York particularly vulnerable to this problem due to factors such as proximity to international borders, numerous ports and airports, significant immigrant populations and large economies that include industries that attract forced labor.
Although most of the CAST course participants were shocked by how often human trafficking happens in Los Angeles communities, they felt empowered upon completion of the course as well as pleased to have the tools to be more alert in their day-to-day activities, according to ConferenceDirect officials.
“We were honored to have (CAST CEO Kay Buck) and Becca join us at our Annual Partner Meeting to discuss the importance of human trafficking and lead a course with some of our Associates to help us become more aware of this growing issue,” Hanson said.