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


Nearly $2 Million In Stolen Public Money Remains Uncollected

Theft and misuse of public money continue to be a concern as outlined in two reports released today by the Tennessee Comptroller’s office.   The 2014 Report of Cash Shortages updates the status of money stolen and missing from Tennessee’s 95 county governments as of June 30, 2014. The report documents money stolen during the 2014 fiscal year, as well as previous fiscal ... (click for more)

Grand Celebration Marks Completion Of Coolsprings Galleria

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE: CBL), on Tuesday announced the opening of the redevelopment at CoolSprings Galleria in Nashville (Franklin), Tn. Designed to significantly enhance the offerings at the shopping center, the redevelopment of the former Sears location included adding a new mall entrance as well as retail space for a mix of fashion stores, and fine dining ... (click for more)

Man Killed By Train At Sale Creek

A man was struck and killed by a train in North Hamilton County on Wednesday evening. The sheriff's office said the incident occurred in Sale Creek.   (click for more)

Tram Up 1st Street That Proved A Dud Also Falters At Auction

Most of the 21st Century Waterfront development was a major success. Except for that non-working tram going up the steep hill at First Street. The city has finally given up on the unusual mode of transit and has placed it up for auction. But there were only four bids submitted and the high was only $92.50. The owners of the firm that built the tram, Outdoor Engineers ... (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Is It Ever Worth It?

There is a better-than-average chance General John Kelly could soon be named as the new Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. He’s one of four men who have been mentioned in prudent fashion to follow General Joseph Dunford (remember that name for a few minutes) as head of the Corps. General Dunford, who held the job less than a year, has just been chosen by President Obama ... (click for more)