State assemblywoman Amy Paulin announced Thursday she is working to curtail human trafficking in New York by developing legislation that would require hotel and motel employees to receive training to be able to recognize the practice.
“Hotels and motels are prime locations for traffickers to bring their victims for the purpose of selling them,” Paulin said.
Paulin, a Democrat who represents the 88th District, said it is imperative that hotel and motel employees learn to recognize the signs of human trafficking and know what to do if they see a victim or a trafficker.
"Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry and young girls and boys are being victimized every day in New York, regardless of whether they live in an urban, suburban or rural area," she added.
The assemblywoman made her announcement at the Ritz Carlton in New York, alongside other supporters of the cause including sex slave survivors, religious members, and hotel and motel officials.
The legislation also calls for all lodging facilities to post a notice in certain public spaces on how human trafficking victims can get help.
Paulin pointed out that traffickers often capitalize on the lack of awareness on the part of the hotel staff, managers and executives who often do not know what to look for or what questions to ask or are unaware that human trafficking can occur at their hotels.
Marriott International, which owns the Ritz Carlton, has been a leader in the fight against human trafficking, Paulin said.
Marriott established mandatory human trafficking training for all employees at its 6,000 properties worldwide earlier this year, providing them with the skills and resources needed to recognize the signs of human trafficking.
“Marriott International is committed to respecting human rights and empowering our associates with the tools to identify the signs of human trafficking,” said Tu Rinsche, director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Marriott.
If passed, New York will be only one of two states, along with Connecticut, to have such legislation.
Paulin's 88th district includes Scarsdale, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Pelham, Pelham Manor, and parts of New Rochelle and White Plains.