How the Hotel Industry Can Counter Trafficking:


Brothels are characterized by their dark and shady appearance. It is much easier to conceal the illegal activities of the trafficking industry within the well-maintained walls of private hotels and restrooms. The hotel industry has always been infamous for housing illegal activities related to flesh trade.

However, the time has come to put a stop to these horrific crimes taking place within hotels, which are becoming the hotspot for sex trafficking and are rapidly replacing traditional brothels. In Maharashtra, the government has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the association of hotels to help end these odious practices. The alumni group of Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology will train staff to help them recognize possible trafficked victims. Being among the largest hotel chains in India, over 20 lakh hotels will be able to access this training facility.

Some of the measures include training hotel staffs to look out for women who appear noticeably scared or traumatized, and seem as if their actions are being controlled by another person. Caution must be raised in case guests can’t produce ID proofs and if their rooms display the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign for days at a stretch.

Staffers will be trained to identify 50 different warning signs associated with sex trade activities occurring in hotels. These include taking a note of excessive consumption of porn, a man and a minor spending too many days locked in a room, sudden requests to change bed linens and of course women and girls not being able to show authentic identification documents.

While these efforts are commendable, the journey to eradicate sex trafficking is a long and laborious one. And hotels play a key role in this.

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