MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – In response to recently enacted state legislation regarding human trafficking prevention, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) has introduced a new benefit program for its lodging industry members.
Connecticut law mandates that workers at the state’s hotels, motels and lodges receive annual training on how to detect and report human trafficking when they suspect it in their workplace. Connecticut became the first state to require this annual training when it enacted the legislation in 2017.
The new CTCSB program will make it more convenient for members to provide this state-required education to their employees. Susan Henrique, the bureau’s director of business development & convention services, is now a certified trainer in human trafficking awareness, and the CTCSB is offering complimentary group sessions to lodging members who require it.
“Our Bureau offers this opportunity to our member-hotels that might not have internal human resources personnel who are certified to train their own employees,” says Robert Murdock, president of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization.
“We hope this will make it easier for smaller hotel groups and individual properties that are having difficulty finding a cost-effective certified trainer to provide the education they need to comply with this law. We also can provide this service to other Bureau members in the hospitality industry who want to learn more about human trafficking. We plan to host multiple training sessions throughout the year as a member benefit.”
The need for more trainers in human trafficking awareness is also why the CTCSB recently partnered with the Connecticut Lodging Association to offer a two-day Human Trafficking Awareness course presented by Connecticut Department of Children and Families. The program certified more individuals so they could train their own employees on human trafficking, with a specific focus on Connecticut issues and the lodging industry.
Human trafficking awareness training assists lodging employees in identifying victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST), as well as receiving tips on how to best respond and support identified trafficking victims.
Participants learn definitions, federal and state legislation related to human trafficking, prevalence of DMST in Connecticut, pathways to victimization, warning signs, impact to the victims, and who the buyers/exploiters of this crime are. Specific information and resources are included to assist employees with identifying victims of human trafficking staying at lodging establishments.