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Texas Restaurant Association takes on human trafficking in Lone Star state

Training, awareness aim to help end trafficking in Texas

The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) began an awareness and training program to help end human trafficking. First, it will offer placards that can be placed inside restaurants. Second, it is providing training for teams and managers. This is part of an effort to help end human trafficking in the Lone Star state. Sadly, Texas is the #2 ranked state based on human trafficking rates, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) is a partner in this effort as the lead agency that investigates organized criminal activity—including human trafficking—in places where alcohol is sold, noted the TRA. And as a member of national task forces and collaboration with other states, it helps disrupt trafficking in Texas.

Through its latest initiatives, and in partnership with the TABC, TRA:

  • provides downloadable placards that restaurants can place in restrooms with important information on how victims can get help
  • promote existing resources for restaurants from the TABC and other state agencies
  • creates training so that employees can recognize the signs of trafficking and assist

“TABC is proud to work with TRA and all alcohol retailers across Texas to end this evil practice,” said TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles.”We must never forget our duty to help the victims who are being held against their will in conditions which no person should suffer.”

Restaurant employees in Texas totaling about 1.3M can access training resources, information and placards at RestaurantsRespond.com/Freedom. As a form of modern day slavery, human trafficking promotes forced labor and sex from men, woman and children.

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“Many victims will enter a restaurant at some point and having support for them in a private place like a restroom could be the catalyst to get them the assistance they need,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D.,TRA chief executive.

She goes on to say that the human trafficking in the Lone State state is a “winnablle fight” and that restaurants typically are the first to respond to crises. Human trafficking, she noted, is a current crisis.

Based in Austin, the TRA advocates for and supports Texas’ $66B restaurant industry, and its 48,000 foodservice locations. “I am confident our restaurants will lead this fight and that in partnership with state and local authorities, we can significantly reduce the staggering numbers we see today,” added Knight.

Photo credit: Qdoba

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