By Hannah Fuller & Tula Bungane
When the topic of human trafficking is discussed, people often cringe or try to change the subject. Perhaps this is because this issue is not one that many of us want to actively think about. We often think of it taking place in a foreign country, far away from home, or view it as something that is not necessarily our problem. However, it is now too late to turn a blind eye to the growing issue of human trafficking because it is happening everywhere. In an article recently written in Time Magazine, there are many places that human trafficking takes place, including hotels. Hotels have become a commonality within trafficking because it makes it harder to detect that there is any foul play taking place. Thankfully, there are simple actions we can all take to contribute to putting a halt to human trafficking in such places – as reported by Time.com
1. One of the key times is at check in. Paying with cash is obviously a cause for concern, especially if the reservation was originally made with a credit card. And then there’s the luggage clue; legitimate travelers usually bring a bunch of bags with them.
2. The next line of defense after a vigilant front desk clerk is the in-house security team. Sometimes traffickers will check in to the room and only much later smuggle the girls and the johns into the hotel through a side door. Rooms which are being used by traffickers typically have a lot of men coming and going, and sometimes have men congregating outside the door, in the lobby or in the parking lot.
3. The hotel housekeepers are key players here too, since traffickers tend to decline cleaning services for days on end.
In addition to the hotel staff being trained on how to watch for human trafficking victims, there are also a number of questions hotel guests should ask themselves if they see questionable behavior, such as:
4. If you’re checking in or in the lobby, do the women being checked in have their own credit cards and forms of identification?
5. Do they look to be in good health?
6. Do they seem disoriented or disheveled? Are their “boyfriends” significantly older?
7. Do the men seem to be preventing the women from moving about freely? There have even been reports of some women having tattoos that mark ownership.
Meanwhile, celebrities have begun to play a role in ending human trafficking by getting involved in various organizations. According to Elite Daily, Actress Laurie Holden, who is in the popular TV show “The Walking Dead,” recently assisted with saving girls from a Colombia prostitution ring with the help of the activist group Operation Underground Railroad, run by ex-CIA agent Tim Ballard.
“Sex traffickers believed it was an event set up to facilitate the sale of these underage girls to interested parties…Holden watched over the young girls as Ballard coerced the traffickers into making a faux transaction with him. Once that happened and was caught on tape, the police jumped out and arrested the guilty parties.” Through this staged undercover act, they successfully saved 55 girls and caught the traffickers.
In case you see something suspicious, please keep the National Human Trafficking Hotline handy. It is 1-888-373-7888.
To read more about how to spot human trafficking in hotels and the full story about Laurie Holden, please visit elitedaily.com.
Or see more at time.com
Ways To Spot A Human Trafficking Victim