S.244 (Mayer) / A.887 (Paulin)
Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) supports S.244/A.887, related to human trafficking awareness and training for lodging facility employees.
This bill will amend the General Business Law by requiring employees of inns, hotels, motels, and motor courts, who are likely to interact with guests to undergo a human trafficking recognition training program established by Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The training will address the nature of human trafficking, how to identify victims of trafficking, and resources available for victims.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (“UNODC”), the vast majority of all human trafficking victims, nearly 75%, are women and girls, and are commonly forced into a life of prostitution. “Hotels and motels are a common venue for sex trafficking, due to ease of access for buyers, ability to pay in cash and maintain secrecy through finances, and lack of facility maintenance or upkeep expenses.” Lodging facilities are too often an easy location for buyers to meet the victims, and in most situations the facilities are not inexpensive, roadside lodgings. In one of the most infamous trafficking cases involving trafficking in New York hotels, Jared Fogle, the former Subway spokesperson, stayed at the Ritz Carlton and the Plaza, having his victims meet him where he was staying. By requiring lodging facility employees to be trained in recognizing sex trafficking will shed more light on this multi-billion dollar global industry and may start to deter buyers who travel to New York, stay in a posh hotel, and buy sex from a trafficked victim. WBASNY supports this legislation to increase awareness for employees of facilities who will encounter and interact with trafficked victims.
WBASNY has a long and honored role in making life better for women and children in our world and will continue to be a powerful force to affect policy change on issues affecting women and children. With over 4,000 members strong, WBASNY speaks as one voice to advocate for equal access to justice for women and children both here in the State of New York and beyond.