Spotting A Sex Trafficking Victim In Hotels

Spotting A Sex Trafficking Victim In Hotels

There are many means to satisfy human sexual desires. Of course, the “best” one is to have sex with a partner. But, in situations when a partner is missing, there are still options. Sex dolls, sex robots, and sex toys exist for a reason. And if these are still unavailable, most of us have hands that can be used for self-stimulation.

Unfortunately, some are too horny to think of these. All they can think of is where to find a partner. They would look for prostitutes, or worse, they resort to “buying” sex trafficked people. And even worse, often, these sex trafficking victims are minors.

While there are debates around whether prostitution should be decriminalized or not, there’s no debate when it comes to sex trafficking. At least prostitutes voluntarily entered the sex work industry. These poor victims of sex trafficking did not. Furthermore, escorts at least earn something for selling their bodies. There is somewhat of a mutualism – both they and their clients get something. Meanwhile, sex trafficking victims do not get any benefits at all. The trafficker – also known as the pimp – is the one earning revenue from it. And, of course, the buyer gets what they paid for. 

Spotting A Sex Trafficking Victim In Hotels

Involvement Of The Hotel Industry

Now, the hotel industry is right in the middle of this battleground. There are bedrooms, and traffickers can get in and move on before attracting too much attention. Thus, they are the ideal places for traffickers’ operations. They are also not selective, says Carlson VP of corporate affairs Tammy Lee Stanoch. Whether it is a 5- star or a slummy rent-by-the-hour hotel, sex trafficking could occur there. 

Hoteliers are not as oblivious about these underground activities as the traffickers believe. They are aware and even became the earliest activists in the anti-trafficking cause. Though, at first, this was against the advice of their legal experts. Moves like these expose the dirty things that happen in hotels; they can ruin their reputation. But as Stanoch points out, since the crimes happen within their walls, they should be part of the solution. “Whether they’re our hotels or our competitors, we’re going to take a stance on it,” she says.

Fortunately, most hoteliers agree with her statement. Now, they include training their employees to spot red flags in their training. 

News website Time ( asked the people at Carson to share what they have learned so far. And they happily obliged.

At The Front Desk

Hotel clerks immediately check signs of sex trafficking when guests check in. Paying by cash when the reservation was made with a credit card is the first alert. Also, how the guests present themselves could give telling information. Men or women accompanied by a younger one who does not look like their children are suspicious. If the younger person was made to look older than they are, it becomes more evident that they are trafficked. Clerks can also check if there’s a distant, frightened, and dazed expression on the younger person. The last clue is the luggage. If they are the travelers they say they are, they will be carrying a bunch of bags.

Security Team

The hotel clerks are not the only ones that are vigilant; the traffickers are too. They rarely bring the sex-trafficked victim with them when checking in anymore. Instead, they smuggle them – along with the johns – through a side door after successfully booking a room. 

The hotel security cameras and personnel play a major role here. They can see what the clerk in the reception cannot. However, no matter how high-tech the cameras are, they still cannot catch everything. Thus, the staff must be very observant to spot waving flags.

Spotting A Sex Trafficking Victim In Hotels

The number of men coming and going from the room of the suspicious person serves as a clue. If there’s an unusually high amount of guests – visiting one-by-one – there’s a high chance that the man in question, in fact, is a criminal. The staff doesn’t have to wait for them to enter and leave. Men congregating outside the door, in the lobby, or the parking lot after the guest checked in is already a piece of evidence. 

Guest’s Behavior

The guests could exhibit questionable behavior that can trigger suspicions. For example, they can rent two rooms. The buyers and the victims will use the first one, and the second will serve as a waiting room. That is how they commonly operate, according to FBI San Antonio Special Agent Michelle Lee. 

 The housekeeping staff plays a significant role in fighting sex trafficking too. They are trained to watch out for excessive amounts of computers and cellphones in the room. This usually means something illegal is going on. But sex traffickers would not let them into the room to hide all that. They think they can avoid triggering suspicion if they do that, while it’s actually the opposite. Their shady behavior is a red flag.

Then there are their TV watching habits. While checking in on travelers’ TV habits is frowned upon, it is especially helpful in stopping sex trafficking. If the room is watching too much porn, and the guest is suspicious already, it raises another flag. But the staff must be careful. As much as they have to fight sex trafficking, they have to respect guests’ privacy. The last thing they would want to do is wrongly accuse an innocent guest of sex trafficking.

Spotting A Sex Trafficking Victim In Hotels

Now, when the guest leaves, cleaners can finally get into their rooms. They must look for large amounts of contraceptives and lubricants. That is easy to do since the guests in question usually don’t tidy up. Stanoch says that people having consensual sex tend to be neater with their sex paraphernalia. Thus, the sex that happened in the room was not consensual. However, it rarely gets up to this point. Once enough flags have been raised, the hotel staff immediately contacts law enforcement. “This isn’t something we wait on,” says Stanoch.

Before You Go

Sex traffic victims are treated like sex dolls – sold to other people to give out sexual satisfaction. Their suffering is something that should be stopped. All people – especially sex workers – should notify hotel staff when they notice something is amiss. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.