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Hotel workers are on the front lines in the fight against human trafficking, around the world. Hotels can be unwitting and unwilling participants in illegal activities that range from human smuggling, to forced labor, mail-order brides, and engaging in commercial sex acts.

The connection between commercial sex acts and trafficking of unwilling victims is well documented but little understood in the culture at-large. Quite often a blind eye is given toward undesirable behaviors like purchasing or selling sex because it is assumed these are just “bad personal choices” on the part of the participants. This is far from the truth and allowing these activities to persist enrich abusers and traffickers and further victimize vulnerable women, men, and children in our communities.

The recommendations of a Washington State task force on sex trafficking include the broad-based training of hotel workers to recognize the different forms of human trafficking in order to help reduce the harm done to victims from all backgrounds.

The following resources are provided to help employees, managers, and owners of hotels, motels, and rental properties play their part in stopping the abuses and crimes of sex trafficking in our communities.


Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST) Training for Hospitality Industry

This Seattle-based non-profit provides professional training videos for use in the hospitality industry. The goal is to align employees in the hospitality industry, law enforcement, and victim services to identify and prevent occurrences of trafficking in these establishments.


ECPAT USA Training for Hotel Associates

This free 30-minute online training program developed by ECPAT-USA in collaboration with the American Hotel and Lodging Association and Marriott International discusses the intersections between human trafficking and the hotel industry. ECPAT-USA also offers free tools and resources that can be used in conjunction with the training to help companies combat trafficking and inform clients and suppliers of their commitment.


Unpacking Human Trafficking Report

Produced by ECPAT-USA through funding from the AHLA Foundation, the “Unpacking Human Trafficking” report provides a summary of the laws of the 50 states relating to the display of human trafficking awareness posters in lodging facilities and the requirement that employees be trained to recognize and handle suspected incidents of human trafficking.


Department of Homeland Security “Blue Campaign” Awareness Kit

This awareness kit focused on the hospitality industry helps spread the word about the signs of human trafficking and provides helpful resources including printable signs for your establishment to let patrons know how to seek help and prevent trafficking in these establishments.



Featured photo by Keem Ibarra