AG James reminds hotels to display mandatory human trafficking
Signage with hotline number as summer travel increases
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James took action today to prevent human trafficking and protect New Yorkers as summer travel and cross-border movement increases. Attorney General James provided hotel and tourism associations with cards containing human trafficking information and hotline numbers and reminded accommodation establishments of their obligation to post the cards in visible places to help the victims. Traffickers rely on the hospitality industry to move, control and deliver victims of the sex trade or forced labor. In a letter to hotel and tourism associations, Attorney General James urges them to do their part to report, respond to and prevent human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is wrong and hurts communities in New York and across the country,” said Attorney General James. “Today, my office reminds hotels, motels, and lodging establishments across the state of their obligation to prevent and report human trafficking. As summer travel increases and more and more people move through the state, it is critical that hotels do their part to end human trafficking and support victims View the National Human Trafficking Hotline number and other essential information in visible places can help save lives.”
Attorney General James sent his letter to 10 statewide hotel and tourism associations that have hundreds of members, including some of the largest chains. New York law requires hotels and lodging establishments to display information cards containing only information regarding services for victims of human trafficking and which prominently include the telephone number of the hotline of national assistance against trafficking in human beings. Information cards must be made available in a conspicuous place and in a conspicuous manner in public toilets, individual rooms and near the public entrance or in another conspicuous place, in full view of the public and employees of the accommodation where similar information is usually displayed.
The information sheets below have been sent to hotel and tourism associations.
Some victims of exploitation may be unusually anxious, fearful, submissive, work unusually long hours, be beholden to an employer, be paid below minimum wage or not at all, live and work in the same place, or engage in the sex for the benefit of another person.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline number is: 1-888-373-7888. People can also text HELP or INFO to 233733 for help.
According to the latest federal human trafficking report released last month, 57% of all human trafficking victims in 2021 were minors and 92% were sex trafficking cases. In addition, the number of forced labor cases increased by 22%. New York remains among the top five states with the highest number of new sex trafficking cases, active sex trafficking cases, and cases involving minors. The study shows that the victims were mainly recruited through fraudulent job offers and promises of visas and accommodation. Most of the tactics discussed in the report require going through hosting structures.
For more human trafficking resources, please visit the New York Interagency Human Trafficking Task Force.
“Human trafficking is a horrific form of slavery that affects thousands of people across this country and hundreds in New York. Partnerships at the federal and state level, as well as with the private sector, are imperative to help identify potential victims and hold traffickers accountable for their crimes,” said US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I am proud to lead bipartisan legislation, such as the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act and the Put Trafficking Victims First Act, that would provide New York State and law enforcement with tools to help victims break free. and to be free in life after trafficking. I want to thank Attorney General Letitia James for her continued efforts to create these collaborative efforts as we combat human trafficking from every angle and work to end this scourge of modern slavery.
“Trafficking rings use hotels as prime locations to bring in their victims,” said Assembly Member Amy Paulin. “Information cards with hotline numbers can help victims access the help they need to escape their captors. I commend the Attorney General for bringing attention to this crisis as we enter the summer travel season. »
“We commend Attorney General James for taking this important step to educate New Yorkers about human trafficking and for mandating his hospitality industry to take this crime and human rights violation seriously. ‘man’, said Taina Bien Aime, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). “As 92% of detected trafficking cases involve the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls, it is critical that New York City accommodations – sites where abuse often occurs – take action that can lead a victim of trafficking to safety and resources.”
“For survivors of human trafficking, access to reliable information can be a lifeline, especially for those living in extreme isolation,” said Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director, Sanctuary for Families. “Too often, traffickers are the only source of information and connection to the outside world – a deliberate effort that reinforces their power and control over those they exploit. By reminding accommodation establishments of their obligation to post signs with safety information and hotline numbers, Attorney General James is helping to break down an invisible barrier that keeps trafficked persons linked to their exploiters. We commend the Attorney General for her actions and commitment to ending human trafficking in New York State.
“When I was trafficked and taken to a hotel, there was no information that could help me and I wish there had been,” said Shandra Woworuntu, founder of Mentar and survivor of trafficking. “It is very important that hotels and businesses step up and stop human trafficking from happening in their spaces. Human trafficking credentials and hotline number will give hope to the victims who read them I thank Attorney General James for leading this file.
“As an organization committed to the safety, well-being and general well-being of black girls, we support Attorney General James’ call to action to protect New Yorkers from human trafficking. “, said Toni Wilson, Director of Culture and Narrative Change, Girls for Gender Equity. “We know that 60% of black girls will experience sexual violence before the age of 18, and according to a recent study on sex trafficking by the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, 40% of victims of trafficking are women and black girls; the highest percentage of any race. Attorney General James taking action to protect New Yorkers from human trafficking is direct action that will protect black girls. Girls for Gender Equity thanks her for her diligent service, her commitment to the youth of this city, and her efforts to prevent harm.
“The Safe Horizon Anti-Trafficking Program applauds the diligent and sustained efforts of Attorney General James to raise awareness of all forms of human trafficking, including labor trafficking, and urges New York businesses to front line to identify human trafficking to do their part to prevent and mitigate this scourge,” said Anita S. Teekah, Senior Director of Anti-Trafficking Program, Safe Horizon.
Attorney General James has taken action in the past to combat human trafficking. In February, Attorney General James announced her support for two federal bills that would support victims of human trafficking. In May 2021, Attorney General James announced the indictment of a Bronx man for child sex trafficking.