COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA) is partnering with Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) to help combat trafficking in our state.

BEST is a Seattle based non-profit dedicated to helping businesses end human trafficking, according to the press release.

BEST will provide members of SCRLA and their employees with free training on how to identify and report human trafficking.

Dr. Mar Brettmann, BEST’s executive director, said that training will include “what to watch for and… [how] to take immediate action to report it.”

SCRLA is in a unique position, as the hospitality industry is particularly susceptible to human trafficking.

Officials explained that traffickers often use legitimate businesses to facilitate the trafficking, targeting the hospitality industry because of its transient and private nature.

Therefore, employees in the industry must be acutely perceptive and aware of the problem.

To “strategically and effectively combat human trafficking”, SCRLA has also partnered with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force, according to SCRLO’s President and CEO, John Durst.