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Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) aligns and equips leaders to use the power of business to prevent human trafficking. In 2011, a Washington-based foundation hosted a series of meetings to examine how trafficking might be prevented in the state. A clear consensus emerged: Businesses were central to the prevention and reporting of human trafficking yet they were almost entirely absent in statewide and nationwide efforts and protocols. BEST: Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking was launched in March 2012 to fill that gap.
The goal of BEST is to prevent human trafficking, primarily within the U.S. We do so by engaging and educating businesses that unknowingly fund and facilitate trafficking. BEST leads three main programs:
1) Inhospitable to Trafficking (ITT): ITT is an in-depth training that educates hotel staff and management about how to recognize and halt trafficking. Trainings include specific examples of how/what/what/why to identify traffickers and victims, suitable ways to intervene with law enforcement, and appropriate ways to connect victims with support services. BEST provides resources online and in print to further education for hotel staff.
2) Employers Alliance: BEST Employers Alliance, is the first public/private, cross-sector partnership in the nation to address sex trafficking and buying. Working in partnership with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and victim service providers, BEST engages employers in trafficking prevention efforts.
3) Safe Jobs Program: A lack of job opportunities is one of the most serious barriers for people seeking freedom from a trafficker. BEST aims to leverage its networks in the business community to find safe employment for trafficking survivors and persons at risk of trafficking.