March 9, 2018, Orlando, FL
In a last-minute attempt to help stop human trafficking, Senator Lauren Book (D-Plantation) and Representative Ross Spano (R-Dover) stood true to their word in support of trafficking victims. With only hours remaining in the legislative session, they added a measure to a bill that would help stop human trafficking in hotels and motels by training staff and giving victims the right to sue if the establishments knew about their situation but did nothing.
We are extremely grateful to these two leaders for standing up against the lobbyists who pushed against the bill. Sadly, just hours after reviving it, the House slashed the amendment, leaving it futile in the Senate. As three brave survivors looked on, Senator Book pleaded with her colleagues to do the right thing; however, they did not.
After bills sailed through committees unanimously, when the vote came to the floor, some state leaders argued against the bill. According to one of our Survivor Advocates who was present during much of the debate, the following state leaders argued AGAINST the bill:
Our politicians have shown that they are more concerned about standing up for corporations than victims who are exploited in these businesses and, in some cases, by these businesses. If any of these leaders represent you, now would be a good time to give them a phone call to voice your disapproval.
While we are down, we are not out! It is very likely a similar bill will make its way to the floor next year. When it does, we will let you know how to show your support!
Why wait for a law to mandate training?
It is widely known that human trafficking is alive and well in hotels and motels across the state. Several businesses, like Marriott, are doing the right thing by training their employees to recognize and respond to signs of the crime.
Now we call upon all the hotels who have not trained their staff to take action. Don’t wait for a law to train your staff. If you do not want human traffickers using your establishment, call us and we will help you make sure they don’t.
We want to see Orlando truly become the family-friendly destination that it should be. No parent should have to visit the happiest place on earth and wonder what is going on next door in their hotel. If you work in the hospitality industry or know someone who does, please contact us at 407.495.5846 to schedule a training for hotel and motel employees!
More on this story from Florida Politics