LifestyleSonoran LivingSL Sponsors


SAFE Action Project: Combating human trafficking in the hospitality, travel and tourism industry

Posted at 8:48 AM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 19:05:41-04

Hickey Family Foundation is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living.

SAFE ACTION PROJECT (A Program of the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network)

SAFE stands for Safeguarding All From Exploitation. The SAFE Action Project is funded and operated by Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network (AATN) and has partnered with the Arizona Attorney General's Office and Homeland Security Investigations - Phoenix.

The SAFE Action Project is a travel, tourism, and hospitality training program designed to elevate awareness and action within the industry to combat human trafficking. SAFE offers a wide variety of human trafficking training resources to help recognize the warning signs of human trafficking and how to report suspicious behavior with a "see something, say something" approach.

Human trafficking is an organized criminal activity in which people, many of them young and easily manipulated, are bought and sold every day and is considered a form of modern-day slavery. Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to make an individual perform commercial sex acts or forced labor.

Perpetrators often frequent legitimate businesses including hotels, motels, and resorts where this abuse takes place, often unbeknownst to the proprietors, making the property or business a victim as well. Traffickers capitalize on the lack of awareness around this issue within the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. All too often, traffickers can continue exploiting their victims -- unchecked because staff, managers, and executives do not know what to look for; it is a crime hidden in plain sight!

Through specialized training and community collaborations, the SAFE Action Project provides hospitality and tourism industry staff with the knowledge and skills to recognize and properly report potential trafficking situations. The training sessions can be conducted in Spanish and English and are offered state-wide at no cost for anyone in the travel, hospitality, or tourism industry. There are online training modules available, as well.

The same economic forces that fuel tourism in Arizona also support human trafficking. The SAFE Action Project is grateful for those organizations that have participated in the training. The following organizations have had 75% of their employees complete the SAFE Action Project training program and have become "SAFE Certified." They have taken an enormous step to combat human trafficking in Arizona. They are helping to raise awareness on this issue, and their participation is an example to help all in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry in Arizona.

· Visit Mesa
· Hotel Valley Ho
· Experience Scottsdale
· Tempe Tourism
· Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association
· Go Lake Havasu
· Embassy Suites by Hilton Paloma Village Tucson
· Arizona Office of Tourism

Marc Garcia, President and CEO of Visit Mesa, said, "Visit Mesa becoming SAFE Certified means we have taken responsible steps to help combat these horrific crimes in Arizona. By receiving the SAFE Action Project training, our staff is now better equipped to identify, report, and prevent Human Trafficking in our community."

The SAFE Action Project works with its partners to train hospitality and tourism industry professionals and bystanders on how to recognize, report, and ultimately end human trafficking in Arizona. For more information, please visit