One-Day Human Trafficking Conference Scheduled for Thursday, July 20th in Grand Rapids

This day-long session with Women at Risk International (WAR) will help educate all of us in the tourism and hospitality industries on the dangers of human trafficking as well as provide resources to help combat this growing crime against women, children and others. The event is Thursday, July 20th from 9am to 5:15pm at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown.

Michigan is one of the leading states for human trafficking— a modern-day form of slavery. It is defined as the “recruiting, harboring, transportation, providing, or obtaining of a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through force, fraud, or coercion” (U.S. Department of State). Human trafficking affects over 20 million victims worldwide (Polaris Project) with a total market value of over 32 billion US dollars. Over 1.2 million children are trafficked each year and this epidemic affects at least 161 countries worldwide. Between 100,000 and 300,000 underage girls are sold for sex in the U.S. every year.

In many instances, hotels and motels, in both rural and urban areas are prime locations for human trafficking activity. And, when there are major influxes of people (such as during major events like ArtPrize) cases often soar. What should you and your staff be on the lookout for when it comes to this crime? Who should you contact if you suspect human trafficking in your property? Why should you even care?

Space is Limited! Cost is $35 per person. Registration is required here:

Presented by Kent County Hospitality Association, Women in Lodging-Grand Rapids and Experience Grand Rapids.