Call for Volunteer Hotel/Motel Education Trainers
Today the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery is putting out a call for volunteers to be trained to conduct an educational program for hotel/motel employees. We have partnered with the Nebraska Coalition on Human Trafficking, Inc., for this statewide project. The Coalition is sending three trainers and providing the hotel project training materials. The first training will take place on Wednesday, September 13th, 6:00pm-9:00pm at Plymouth Church 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312 in the Greenwood room. A volunteer job description is attached for volunteer hotel/motel trainers and Ambassadors.
Please review this job description before you register for the training. Take note that this first training is for those who reside in Des Moines and Central Iowa. To register for the September 13th Central Iowa training project, contact Shirlee Reding at email@example.com and be sure to send all of your contact info and also sign the 2 forms linked below. Each trained volunteer must agree to provide a minimum of three trainings either as an ambassador or trainer. This Central Iowa hotel/motel training project is being funded by the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation.
There will also be a training on September 25th, from 6-9 pm in Cedar Rapids for those along the I 380 area (Geographic area from Waterloo/Cedar Falls to Iowa City). Location will soon be announced. This training is being offered by Chains Interrupted (in partnership with the CoHT and NAHT) free of charge to volunteers. To register and for questions, please email Teresa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319-536-2027.
Other locations in Iowa will soon be announced.
The goal of this Nebraska hotel/motel coalition and Iowa NAHT’s partnership project is to promote meaningful intervention and prevention regarding sex trafficking by seeking to limit the facilities in which sex trafficking is carried out, reducing its market capability, and particularly thereby discouraging and limiting sex trafficking locally. Governor Reynolds will be launching the training initiative at a press conference on September 19th at 10:30 am at the State Capitol Building.
Why focus on hotels and motels? Hotels and motels are a primary location for sex trafficking, often unbeknown to managers and staff. Major events especially sporting events draw many people to cities and towns who stay in hotels and motels. Traffickers bring in women, many who are minors, to the hotels and motels during these events. The traffickers view them as an opportunity for huge profits with very little risk of penalty or punishment. These events are not the root cause of sex trafficking. The root causes are greed and a subculture that accepts treating people, especially women and children, as sex objects that can be bought and sold. Poverty, lack of access to education and health care, and desperation lead to maintaining a pool of vulnerable victims.
Four New Federal Anti-Trafficking Bills
The momentum in legislative action to combat trafficking has continued throughout the first half of 2017, as a large bi-partisan, bi-cameral coalition has formed in Congress to pass a variety of much needed anti-trafficking bills and bring public focus to the epidemic. Prior to adjourning for August, the U.S. House passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 2200 ), a positive step in attacking the supply and demand components of human trafficking.
Authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), with twenty-seven co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, the bill reauthorizes $520 million in federal funding over four years to prevent human trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute traffickers around the world. The bill would also prevent U.S. taxpayer funds from landing in the hands of international traffickers and restore the credibility of the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) by limiting the length of time a country can stay on the tier 2 watch list without demonstrable progress against trafficking.
This important bill, now before the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, joins three other bills that the Senate is anticipated to soon consider including: the “Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017,” authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a cross-filed version has also been introduced in the House by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017, authored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). All incorporate a range of critical improvements to existing anti-trafficking efforts and authorize the funds necessary to continue the fight against this crime.
The Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery has sent Senator Grassley a letter of thanks for his leadership on fighting Human Trafficking and we have endorsed his legislation.