Recent estimates show that thousands of individuals are trafficked for either sexual or labor exploitation in Texas each year. These traffickers and their networks often rely on legitimate businesses to sustain their operations and infrastructure.
Hotels are one of the many different venues that traffickers use to exploit their victims. This criminal activity presents a great risk to the safety and security of hotel businesses, as well as legitimate customers. The hotel industry must continue to raise awareness of human trafficking and train hotel workers to the vital role that they can play in assisting victims
LEARN TO RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS
The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline found hotels / motels to be a common venue for sex trafficking. Approximately 10 percent of known trafficking cases reported to them in 2017 occurred in a hotel or motel. It is extremely important that team members are educated on the signs of such activity. Below are some of the suggested tools to combat human trafficking:
- Train all team members to recognize the signs human trafficking. Training resources available at:
- Web Based Training thru Best Alliance – Complimentary for all THLA/HLAGH members
- Web based training thru American Hotel & Lodging Association
- Contact your corporate office or franchise
- City of Houston Training Program – please contact HLAGH staff to assist with arrangements
- Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission – please contact HLAGH staff to assist with arrangements
- Establish a goal to provide training to all employees within 90 days of hire
- Display Human Trafficking Awareness Posters
- Use Hospitality Toolkit
- Implement a “no retaliation” company policy toward employees who report human trafficking
- Review infographic to learn more about human trafficking.
- Know the indicators of human trafficking.
- Hand out the Human Trafficking Indicators Card and Key Tag Cards to your employees
- Utilize the TraffickCam App to help police locate hotel rooms used for sex trafficking
- Join the DHS’s Blue Campaign on Facebook
- Check out additional resources on the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign website and the City of Houston’s Human Trafficking website
- Learn more about Houston’s efforts to combat human trafficking
- The Attorney General of Texas offers via web based as well as DVDs general training on recognizing human trafficking
- Learn More About Human Trafficking thru these resources:
- National Human Trafficking Resource Center Website
- Polaris Project Website
- Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Website
- U.S. Department of Labor – Child Labor and Forced Labor Website
- U.S. Department of State – Trafficking in Persons Report
- Texas Attorney General’s Office Crime Victims’ Compensation Website
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT HUMAN TRAFFICKING
- Do not at any time attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to your suspicions. Your safety as well as the victim’s safety is paramount.
- For emergency situations, contact local law enforcement at 9-1-1, particularly those situations involving threats of imminent violence, physical assault, emergency medical needs, etc.
- Follow your corporate protocol, such as by notifying management and security. Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423) to report suspicious criminal activity to federal law enforcement.
- Get help (available 24 hour a day) from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/libraryHotline: 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733)