According to the International Labor Organization, human trafficking generates about $ 150 billion in illicit profits worldwide and poses a complex challenge to large hotel chains.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there will be more than 10,000 cases of human trafficking in the United States in 2020, of which 72% are related to sex trafficking. Hotels and motels are one of the most common places of sex trafficking due to lack of easy access, willingness to accept cash and maintenance of facilities.
The Covid-19 epidemic has exacerbated the problem, as criminals abuse new hotel technology, such as uncontacted check-in, which makes it more difficult to identify signs of trafficking. Meanwhile, sex trafficking cases continue against hotel chains.
A law passed in 2000 to criminalize trafficking punishes non-governmental organizations that engage in or are capable of engaging in illegal activities. Since then, big hotel brands as well as small motels have been sued for negligence, profiteering and promoting sex trafficking.
Hotels such as Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt have implemented their own human trafficking training requirements for staff. Hotel staff have been asked to look for warning signs, including cash payments, tottering of some personal items and refusal of cleaning services for multiple days.
Most hotels and motels agree that they have a responsibility to identify, monitor and report potential trafficking.
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