Human Trafficking Awareness

Human trafficking is a reality in every state in our nation, and Florida is no exception. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association believes we have a moral obligation to do all we can to prevent this atrocious crime and to ensure that the Sunshine State remains a warm and welcoming place for all visitors. In that spirit, the association has committed to educating our members as well as others within the hospitality industry about the dangers of human trafficking. We launched the course in September of 2018, and to encourage all hospitality workers to get educated about this crime, we are offering the course free of charge.

We have partnered with subject matter experts to create a COMPLETELY FREE online training course designed to help hoteliers, restaurateurs, and their staff:

  • Recognize the signs of human trafficking
  • Learn best practices to protect victims and businesses
  • Promote anti-trafficking awareness


Human Trafficking Law

In 2019, the Florida Legislature passed and Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law new human trafficking legislation affecting lodging operators. Section 509.096, Florida Statutes, includes mandatory human trafficking awareness training for lodging employees who perform housekeeping duties or work at the front desk or reception areas.  Prudent lodging operators will also train their other guest interaction positions, including concierge, bell staff, valet, and others.

Details in the Law

Lodging operators should be aware of these details regarding implementation and enforcement of the law:

  • Training programs must first be approved by DBPR, and none are yet approved
  • DBPR must promulgate rules – a legally prescribed process – to specify the approval process and other particulars, which are in process and will be completed later this year.
  • Covered employees must complete training by January 1, 2021, or within 60 days of hire, whichever is later, and annually thereafter
  • Covered lodging properties must implement a procedure to report suspected human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or local law enforcement, and they must post prescribed signage in employee areas regarding the Hotline.
  • For FRLA online training in English and Spanish – currently offered at no cost – click here.

To learn more about what human trafficking and what business owners need to know, please check out this article by Geoff Luebkemann, SVP of Education and Training, in the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine.

Additional resources for human trafficking include the following:

– Review the Hospitality Toolkit
– Share the DBPR Division of Hotels & Restaurants Human Trafficking Info Sheet
– Display Human Trafficking Awareness Posters
– Hand out the Human Trafficking Indicators Card
– Download the TraffickCam App
– Check out additional materials on the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign website.

Human Trafficking in the News

Osceola County Schools training staff to spot signs of human trafficking September 23, 2020

By the numbers: Florida had third-highest human trafficking rate in 2019 September 22, 2020

Human Trafficking Shelter in Orlando to Help Victims Get Back on Their Feet September 19, 2020

Man Arrested in Super Bowl Human Trafficking Case in Miami-Dade August 27, 2020

Florida women ages 21 and 19 arrested for sex trafficking minors August 27, 2020

City of Jacksonville signs new bill to curb human trafficking with tighter regulations on adult entertainment businesses March 5, 2020

20 Suspected Human Trafficking Victims Recovered In Super Bowl 54 Crackdown February 20, 2020

Exclusive: Airbnb expands pledge to fight human trafficking amid hospitality industry struggles February 20, 2020

Super Bowl Also Brought Human Trafficking Concerns To Miami February 20, 2020

Lawsuit claims Florida hotels didn’t stop sex trafficking February 9, 2020

Does human trafficking happen here? Pinellas center helps victims as young as six February 6, 2020

Florida man arrested for human trafficking in Tampa February 3, 2020

Jeanette Rubio to continue fight against human trafficking on state board February 3, 2020

Human Trafficking in Florida: The facts you need to know February 1, 2020

Reporter’s Notebook: Human trafficking in hotels January 31, 2020

I-Team: Private investigator easily finds suspected sex trafficking in local hotels January 31, 2020

Florida Strip Club Sued for Allegedly Hiring 13-Year-Old Human Trafficking Victim January 30, 2020

I-Team: New pressure on hotels to combat sex trafficking during Super Bowl January 30, 2020

A Q&A with a human trafficking expert January 30, 2020

FOX 4 INVESTIGATION: How victims get trapped in sex trafficking January 29, 2020

Hospitality Increases Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking January 29, 2020

Department of Health Addresses Human Trafficking January 27, 2020

Human trafficking continues to plague Southwest Florida January 27, 2020

Effort to combat human trafficking ahead of Super Bowl underway in South Florida January 27, 2020

Human trafficking force in Tampa Bay could make a real difference | Editorial January 24, 2020

Human trafficking continues to be a growing problem in Florida  January 23, 2020

Florida attorney general focused on stopping human trafficking January 23, 2020

Sheriff Rescues 18-Year-Old Sex Trafficking Victim In Brandon January 23, 2020

Building a case against child traffickers in Florida can take years January 22, 2020

St. Pete Police reveal new human trafficking task force January 22, 2020

Hotel Industry, Nfl Tackle Human Trafficking Prevention Ahead of Super Bowl LIV January 13, 2020

Ahead of Super Bowl, Hospitality Industry Summit Targets Human Trafficking January 10, 2020

IT’S A PENALTY Kicks Off Global Campaign to End Human Trafficking Ahead of Super Bowl LIV January 9, 2020

Human Trafficking in Florida Restaurants and Hotels September 12, 2018



Resources and Partner Organizations

FRLA Human Trafficking Awareness Course

AHLA No Room for Trafficking Campaign

It’s A Penalty