This January, during National Slavery & Trafficking Prevention Month, Washington is looking for solutions to end human trafficking by educating hotel staff members. Starting this month, Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST) will offer free training to the 6,500 Washington Hospitality Association members.

This education campaign to increase awareness is a part of BEST’s partnership with the Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation. Both organizations have helped to establish Washington as a leader in human trafficking prevention.

“We are woven into the fabric of the daily lives of our guests and team members,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. “As a result, hospitality industry leaders are recognizing the important role we play in preventing and ending this crime. Hotels take profound pride and responsibility in serving and protecting all guests.”

When properly trained, hotel employees who have frequent contact with guests are in a unique position to spot warning signs of trafficking. The 30-minute training through BEST has been proven to increase hotel employee reporting and is available in both English and Spanish.

“BEST is thrilled to announce our new partnership with the Washington Hospitality Association,” Mar Brettmann, executive director of BEST, said. “This partnership will allow us to train thousands of hotel employees in Washington, and it will make our region even more proactive in preventing human trafficking.”