September 17, 2012
Resource for the Field
Human Trafficking in Hotels and Motels
Human trafficking is a crime where traffickers seek to exploit others for profit or personal benefit. As a result, traffickers utilize all available resources or venues to help facilitate their crimes, including hotels and motels. Traffickers take advantage of the privacy and anonymity offered by hotels and motels, and they are able to operate with low risk when hotel staff and the community are not aware of the signs of human trafficking.
Polaris Project has created a resource to help hotel and motel employees recognize the signs of human trafficking. The document outlines common indicators of trafficking and outlines action steps that staff can take if they suspect trafficking is occurring.
Human Trafficking at Hotels/Motels
From December 2007 through July 2012, the NHTRC received 636 calls referencing hotels or motels, for a total of 302 unique potential trafficking cases.
The majority of cases regarding potential human trafficking at hotels and motels, 278 in total, referenced sex trafficking. Of the 302 unique cases, 135 referenced potential minor victims.
The most common type of sex trafficking in these cases was pimp-controlled escort services operating out of hotels. The most common type of labor trafficking involved traveling sales crews where the potential victims were staying at motels and hotels while traveling with the crew.
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Vignettes of the Month
Heather contacted the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) to report a potential situation of labor trafficking at an island resort. During a visit to the island on a family vacation that summer, Heather became friendly with a young woman from Russia whom the caller suspected was being exploited. Read more.
A young woman told the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) that when she was 17 years old, she and another minor were forced to engage in prostitution at various hotels between Atlanta and Savannah, GA by two pimps. Read more.
The National Runaway Switchboard operator explained to the NHTRC Call Specialist that a 19-year-old man was calling after being physically assaulted by his manager. Read more.
Note: Vignettes are based on hotline calls received by the NHTRC. Names, locations, and other identifying information have been changed and/or omitted to preserve the confidentiality of the populations we serve. Vignettes are meant as examples of the types of calls received by the hotline and are for informational purposes only.
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