Omni Hotels & Resorts has announced that for the next three years it will be the banner hotel and host for Shared Hope International’s highly regarded JuST Conference (Juvenile Sex Trafficking), the United States’ premier conference on child and youth sex trafficking.
The annual conference brings together survivors of trafficking with citizen advocates and representatives from law enforcement, healthcare, social work and policy. In addition to hosting, Omni will also sponsor conference elements, including a networking reception, that will allow advocates to connect in social settings outside structured workshops.
“Much of sex trafficking is conducted in, or facilitated through, the hospitality industry. This is where alert and trained employees can make a huge difference—literally, their awareness may actually save the life of a boy or a girl who is being targeted by a sex trafficker,” says Linda Smith, founder and president of Shared Hope. “Omni is an ideal partner due to the core values they hold as a corporation as well as the awareness and training programs they have already put in place.”
“Local market leadership is one of our core values, and we are committed to our partnership with Shared Hope International to ensure we’re supporting the communities in which we operate to end sex trafficking,” says Peter Strebel, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts. “Understanding that sex trafficking is very prevalent within the hospitality industry, we know we have to do our part in helping to educate our associates, who in turn, have the power to prevent these horrific acts.”
As part of the partnership, Smith, who is an authority with 25 years invested in addressing the issue of sex trafficking, will be available to speak at major Omni client events.
Shared Hope’s mission
Founded in 1998 by then U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith, Shared Hope International is a non-profit Christian organization striving to prevent the conditions that foster sex trafficking, promote restoration for survivors of sex trafficking, and bring justice to vulnerable women and children. Working throughout the United States, its initiatives include training churches to understand the signs of trafficking and how to protect children, and teaching first responders, health care providers, social workers and communities the warning signs of trafficking and effective intervention techniques. It also provides restorative services to affected children and women, and legislative support to those focused on strengthening laws against child sex trafficking. More information is available at www.sharedhope.org.