What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is using force, fraud, or coercion to lure victims and force them into labour or sexual exploitation.

If human trafficking is taking place at your property, other criminal activities such as drug dealing and credit card fraud may also be taking place. These activities often go hand in hand, and pose a serious risk to your guests, your staff, and your business.

Don’t Hesitate. Make the Call.

Encourage your staff to notify the manager on duty at your property if they see something suspicious. Don’t assume someone else will call. And don’t worry if you’re not sure that what you’re seeing is human trafficking — your job is just to make the call so law enforcement agencies can take appropriate action.

Know the Signs.

Human trafficking can happen any time of the day, any day of the week. Encourage your staff to know and watch for signs of this activity at your property. These could include:

  • A guest who refuses to leave a credit card imprint and insists on paying cash. There may be a reason they don’t want their identity known.
  • Teenage girls loitering in the lobby or hallways.
  • Guest rooms with a lot of condoms or condom wrappers, or drugs and drug supplies such as syringes, pipes, bongs, broken light bulbs, spoons, and plastic bags.
  • High traffic to a particular guest room.
  • Guests who do not want hotel staff to enter their room. The AHLA encourages hotels to require that hotel staff access occupied guest rooms once each day.
  • A hospitality suite with businessmen and young girls.
  • A young girl or teenager who appears withdrawn or who hides her face.

See Preventing Human Trafficking for more signs that trafficking could be taking place on your property.

For resources you can print to help educate your staff about human trafficking, please see our previous human trafficking campaign.

Watch the video from that campaign, which focuses on child sexual exploitation. But remember, anyone can be a victim of human trafficking.