The Levin Papantonio law firm is part of a team of law firms heading up litigation to hold hotels and other businesses accountable for their role in facilitating human trafficking.
Although their first request to centralize the litigation was denied by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL), advocates for survivors continue to push ahead in various jurisdictions across the country fighting for the rights of women and children trafficked on hotel properties and by hotel brands allowing the abuse to continue for years.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs, adult and minor women from across the country, say there is a common thread, and that is the hotel industry’s deliberate and repeated refusal to mandate anti-trafficking efforts on their properties. Hotel brands say they have no control over what their local brand properties do, yet plaintiffs point out that while many brand properties may operate under different owners and locations, hotel brands have all failed to “mandate training and internal policies to combat trafficking.”
This failure persists despite years of a public campaigns mouthed by hotels brands claiming they were socially responsible and following efforts set out by the hotel industry to prevent trafficking, where in actuality no real measures were being taken.
The complaints were brought against major hotel brands like Hilton, Wyndham, Days Inn, and other brands that ignored obvious signs of human trafficking on their properties. Instead, the plaintiffs say these hotels chose to pursue profits instead of making uniform policy and security changes that could have prevented them from being raped, imprisoned, and abused in their hotels.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (https://endsexualexploitation.org/) has joined the Levin Papantonio firm’s legal fight to support plaintiffs’ claims that the hotel industry enables and profits off the backs of women and children by hosting sex trafficking and prostitution on their properties. The National Center views trafficking – buying and selling people for commercial sex through “force, fraud, and coercion” – as modern-day slavery, a human rights violation.
The NCOSE joined the litigation because they see consolidating sex trafficking cases as a cutting-edge legal approach that is consistent with the organization’s mission of holding corporations accountable for contributing to exploitation. In addition, Levin Papantonio supports the work of several advocacy groups including World Without Exploitation (https://www.worldwithoutexploitation.org), which aims to put an end to modern-day slavery through education and outreach to provide help and resources for victims.
There is good progress being made in regards to holding businesses accountable that profit from human trafficking, as several recent rulings have allowed cases against some of these businesses to move forward. Legal advocates for survivors expect more progress will come with education and continued legal action to hold hotels and other corporations accountable for their role in facilitating human trafficking and profiting off the backs of victims.
Read More: Human Trafficking Cases Make Headlines
As a leader in this revolutionary litigation, the Levin Papantonio firm is cited in a number of recent articles highlighting this unprecedented litigation and the effort to hold the hotel industry accountable for profiting off survivors who are trafficked on their properties.