Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

Kimberly Ritter stands up to child sex trafficking in US hotels

In Awareness, Human Trafficking on March 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

It all started with Ritter’s largest client, the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In her work as a senior account manager at Nix Conference & Meeting Management in St. Louis, Ritter books meeting venues for this group of Roman Catholic nuns. The sisters devote themselves to causes like opposition to the death penalty and the fight to stamp out disposable plastic drinking bottles. Ritter has come to greatly admire their stands, she says.

But the sisters took her by surprise one day when they talked about an upcoming conference and said that they wanted to stay at a hotel that took a stand against child sex trafficking.

“I have learned so much from the sisters over the years,” she says. So she began educating herself on child sex trafficking. What she learned came as a shock.

Source: CS Monitor


Sex Trafficking Part 2: Volunteers Hit Hotels With Soap During Auto Show

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm

There’s a growing effort across Metro Detroit to help women caught up in the sex trafficking industry.

Members of the community and the Junior League of Birmingham are fanning out to area hotels, delivering bars of soap to local hotels imprinted with what could be a lifeline.

WWJ’s Kathryn Larson talked with Kristie Henderson of Birmingham, who has been delivering the soap to local hotels imprinted with a human trafficking help hotline. Because traffic grows on sex sites like during the big Auto Show in Detroit, activists believe human trafficking — which involves kidnapping young girls into the sex trade — also grows.

This year more than 50,000 bars of soap went out ahead of the Auto Show.

The Murray Hill Hotel on 8 Mile refused the donation of soap, while the Holiday Inn Express accepted and were willing to pass them out.

Source: CBS Local

Police enlist hotels in fight against sex trafficking

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

The hospitality industry in Hennepin County is the latest frontline against child sex trafficking.

Hotel employees received training from law enforcement Tuesday to spot possible cases of juvenile sex trafficking. Hospitality employees will be on the look-out for signs such as guests without luggage, rooms paid for in cash and young girls with significantly older males.

Last year, hotel workers in Ramsey County and Minnetonka underwent similar training to help spot suspicious activity and report it to law enforcement. Authorities said hotels and motels are often where underage girls are sold for sex.

Hotel workers are often the first to notice when something isn’t right, said Minneapolis police Sgt. Grant Snyder, who led the training.

“Nobody is better at recognizing problems in their hotel. Recognizing when something’s amiss, when someone needs help or when someone’s in danger. No one’s better at that than hotel employees,” Snyder said. “What we’re trying to do here is engage the hotel employees, engage law enforcement, engage our other partners into a collaboration that allows us on a very expansive, community level to be able to target this on the way that it should be targeted.”

Source: Minnesota Public Radio

Nuns Try To Stop Prostitution In St. Louis Hotels

In Awareness, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on November 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Nuns, hookers and babies all come together in tonight’s story about sex trafficking.  Chris Hayes explains how these three worlds converge in his ongoing expose on prostitution in St. Louis.

It happened through Kim Ritter, who coordinates travel and convention events for nuns.  One day the nuns told her to pressure the places pimps use most, hotels.

Ritter explained, “I was able to go online, go to and identify these hotel rooms by the throws in the room, by the curtains, by whatever was outside of their window.”

Almost every online sale of a human body shows a picture taken at a hotel or motel.  Sometimes you can even see St. Louis landmarks in the background — like the Ed Jones Dome and the old St. Louis Courthouse.

Ritter said, “If we could just get all of the hotels to stand together, we could beat this.”

She brokered a groundbreaking pact with the Millennium Hotel, which courageously put fears of bad public relations behind `doing the right thing.` The hotel trained every employee to look for sex trafficking.  Now both downtown St. Louis Hilton’s are beginning training.

Source: Fox2Now

How to identify and address human trafficking

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, Social Justice on November 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Warning signs
Through training efforts and other initiatives, hoteliers can learn to identify common warning signs that indicate human trafficking.

There are two types of trafficking, Smith said.

The first is “in-call,” in which a room is rented by a pimp or victim and buyers come to the room to purchase sex.

As a result, hoteliers might receive complaints from other guests about knocking on doors and doors opening and closing throughout the night. Hotel staff might notice a sudden spike in calls asking for a specific room number without knowing the guest’s name. And housekeepers and other staff might notice more dirty towels than usual, more requests for room service and children on property during school days.

The second type of trafficking is “out-call,” in which a victim is advertised online and travels to a variety of locations, including hotels, to perform sexual acts.

Warning signs might include an adult checking into a room with a child who does not appear to be related or has a different last name. The child also might appear very subdued and might refuse to make eye contact. Hoteliers also might notice the same person coming through the lobby several times without luggage. There might also be a second lookout person loitering in the lobby or bar.

Menanteau offered several other warning signs for hoteliers:

  • a guest frequently entering the property with no luggage or ID;
  • rooms paid for in cash;
  • anyone who appears fearful or disoriented;
  • anyone who shows signs of physical abuse;
  • anyone who is being restricted from moving or communicating;
  • young people made up to look much older; and
  • young people with significantly older boyfriends.

“It may not be one thing that you see … but rather it’s a few of these indicators together that make it worth contacting law enforcement,” she said.

Source: READ MORE AT: Hotel News Now

Hotels take a stand against sex trafficking

In Awareness, Human Trafficking on August 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Some heavy hitters in the hospitality industry are trying to do their part to dismantle a common sex-trafficking pipeline.

In almost every recent case involving children sold into sex, the transaction “begins on and then ends up at a local hotel or motel in our community, often-times in a suburban location,” says the Ramsey County Attorney’s office.

Now the county attorney’s office is enlisting the help of hotels through a first-ever training session in Minnesota teaching hotel employees how to spot signs of trafficking within their businesses. Local investigators, prosecutors, and women’s advocates will lead the training Thursday afternoon in Roseville.

One of the featured speakers is Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairwoman of Carlson, the Minneapolis-based hospitality and travel company. About 20 hotels/motels and 75 lodging-industry employees in Ramsey County will also be present.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio

Sex trafficking in hotels addressed in Southeast Tennessee

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on April 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

The growing push to address sex trafficking in the USA – specifically in hotels – has hit Southeast Tennessee, the reports.

Students and professors from Lee University, a Christian university, and Southern Adventist University just took part in a “poster-blitz” to spread the anti-sex trafficking message in hotels and elsewhere, the paper says.

“Trafficking is happening in our own neighborhoods. Hotels are obvious targets,” Southern Adventist University professor Kendra Lee told the Chattanoogan paper. “This is something small I can do to combat this crime.”

Source: USA Today

Hotels And Event Planners: Just Say No Room For Human Trafficking

In Awareness, Human Trafficking on January 30, 2012 at 11:24 am

The fastest growing trend in the sex trade is a moving target.  The internet allows traffickers to be completely mobile, moving their cash-generating commodities quickly from one hotel to the next, changing cities and even states in rapid succession hoping to stay one jump ahead of the Law and those who would free their victims.

Hotels need to know what to look for.  This is new and evolving fast. Training is becoming available.  If it’s not in your area call Polaris Project and ask for help.  More companies will be available soon.  In the meantime, read the news pertinent to your industry and pass it on to your professional associations. When a conference or event planner asks what your businesses stance is on this issue, it would be smart to have an answer.

This is life or death for many of these victims and it can be right under your nose.

( for

Carlson: Anti-trafficking leader Carlson Hotels – parent of the Radisson and Country Inn and Suites chains, as well as TGI Friday’s casual restaurant chain – is the leader when it comes to anti-trafficking efforts, CdeBaca said. “We know they’re doing their best to fight slavery,” he said. Anti-trafficking groups have praised Carlson for being the first U.S. hotel company to sign the international Code of Conduct to fight child sex trafficking. Among other things, Carlson trains employees for signs of what trafficking situations might look like inside hotels and reports incidents to a special, non-government organization.
Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY)

In Human Trafficking on October 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Are hotel giants fighting global human trafficking?

Hotel operator Wyndham Worldwide will improve its staff training and procedures after authorities cracked down on gang-led child prostitution rings in California hotels, a probe that drew media and activist attention to the chain, a hotel spokesman said Friday. Wyndham is expanding its years-long efforts to fight child sex trafficking by reviewing its operating practices in partnership with the nonprofit ECPAT-USA (Ending Child Prostitution and Trafficking), said Michael Valentino, director of communications for Wyndham Worldwide. Southern California authorities recently completed an 18-month investigation into allegations that three rival Crips gangs collaborated to prostitute girls and women out of California hotels through Internet-arranged meetings.
(Michael Martinez for CNN)

In Human Trafficking on August 15, 2011 at 3:24 am

Hotel chain boosting staff training to fight child prostitution

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