By Barbara Scofidio
This past July 30th, the United Nations observed “World Day Against Trafficking in Persons” to raise awareness about human trafficking. PACT (the Partners in Protection Program, formerly known as ECPAT USA) is shining a light on the role of the hotel, travel and tourism industries in human trafficking.
Three-hundred-ninety-eight companies in 248 countries—including dozens of hotel companies—have committed to the fight against trafficking by signing “The Code” (the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct), training their employees, and putting policies and programs in place to address this issue.
Signs to look for can be subtle, but when identified in combination, could point to human trafficking. For example, a front desk clerk might think nothing of a young female guest whose partner is holding her identification and wallet for her, but when the room she checks into then has a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging from the door all week, there’s reason for suspicion.
Among the other signs to look for in hotels:
• A traveler pays in cash one day at a time
• A guest escorts various men into their room
• An older male or female stays around the room until the visitors leave, watching the door
• The victim will rarely be left alone
• The victim will also have little control of money and identification