Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association Receives First Tennessee Human Trafficking Awareness Certification

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association board of directors has become Tennessee’s first such organization to complete certification training for Human Trafficking awareness.

The GCHA has committed itself to become a signee of the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct, a certification given by End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, an international organization that fights human trafficking. 

Hamilton County has reported more than 100 cases of adult sex trafficking and up to 50 cases of trafficking in minors.  The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Vanderbilt University conducted a statewide study that found there were more than 100 cases of human sex trafficking documented by social service agencies in Chattanooga. At the time, no local law enforcement agency had any reports of sex trafficking. 

Tennessee is ranked #1 in the USA in its efforts to fight sex trafficking in particular by “Shared Hope” an International organization who is leading in prevention strategies, restoration programs and justice initiatives to combat trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.  

Ann Coulter, a volunteer with the Women’s Fund of Chattanooga said, “The Shared Hope International study found that 78 of the state’s 95 counties had reported at least one instance of human trafficking. Here in the Chattanooga area sex trafficking is the dominate form of this awful crime.  Human trafficking, including the trafficking of underage girls for sex is modern day slavery according to the Department of Homeland Security and it is growing, not just around the world but in our own communities."

The GCHA’s mission is:   To promote and enhance the lodging, restaurant, tourism, and allied industries through education, government relations, environment excellence and community service. Members of the association (hotel properties and related companies) have been urged to share the certification training with their employees to raise awareness of this serious crime. One hotel, the Doubletree Hotel has already received its certification, according to Bill Mish, the hotel general manager.

In Tennessee, human trafficking is defined as: recruitment, smuggling, transporting, harboring, buying or selling of a person through force, threats, fraud, deception, or coercion for the purposes of exploitation, prostitution, pornography, migrant work, sweat shops, domestic servitude, forced labor, bondage, peonage, or involuntary servitude. 

For more information or to report suspected human trafficking call Tennessee Human Trafficking Resources Center Hotline 855.558-6484.  www.stopsextraffickinginTN.com


All Tennessee Counties Meet Aug. 31 Budget Deadline

For the first time in decades all 95 Tennessee counties have adopted their annual budget resolutions by Aug. 31. This achievement means that Tennessee counties are now operating under a locally-adopted budget for the current fiscal year. Tennessee counties are also in full compliance with Public Chapter 170, Acts of 2015. This new law allows counties that do not adopt a ... (click for more)

Food City Pushing Forward On Conversion Of Former Bi-LOs

The conversion of area BI-LO stores to Food City accelerates this week as workers at the four stores in the first phase rush to get their stores ready to reopen. At the Food City store on Dayton Boulevard in Red Bank on Monday , Senior VP Jesse Lewis said that customers can expect hundreds of price reductions.   Mr. Lewis has a Chattanooga history - 25 years ... (click for more)

Developer Says CARTA To Lease 75 Parking Spaces At Renaissance Park Lot For New $14 Million Apartments

A member of the Vision Hospitality Group said Tuesday that CARTA plans to lease 75 spaces at the public parking lot by Renaissance Park for its planned $14 million apartment complex. Drew Hibbard, vice president of finance and investments, told members of the North Chattanooga Council of the Chamber of Commerce that it will be under a 50-year lease with the transit group that ... (click for more)

Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Group Calls For Protection Of Muslims In Tennessee In Light Of Statements By Sheriff Hammond

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Tuesday called on public officials "to act to protect the civil rights of Tennessee’s Muslim community following anti-Islam remarks" by Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond. Sheriff Hammond told members of the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club on Monday that he ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat - And Response

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)