Human trafficking - modern day slavery - is not just a problem in developing nations. Estimates show that thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked in the United States each year primarily for sexual or labor exploitation. Trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses to sustain their operations and infrastructure.

Hotels are one of many venues that traffickers use to exploit their victims. As a result, industry leaders are increasingly recognizing the unique role they can play in preventing and disrupting this crime. 

Traffickers use hotel and motel rooms when setting up encounters between victims of sex trafficking and those individuals purchasing sex. Labor trafficking is also present in both the hotel industry's workforce and in the supply chain of its products. This criminal activity presents a great risk for the safety and security of hotel businesses, as well as legitimate hotel customers. Traffickers are capitalizing on the lack of awareness around this issue within the hotel industry. All too often, they continue to exploit their victims unchecked because staff, managers, and executives do not know what to look for.

AHLA Position

AHLA believes strongly that the hotel industry must continue to do everything it can to raise awareness of human trafficking and train hotel workers on the vital role that they can play in helping victims. Partnerships we have developed in this endeavor with organizations like Polaris and ECPAT-USA have helped the hotel industry bolster its response to human trafficking.

Preventing Human Trafficking


Your Role in Preventing Human Trafficking: Recognize the Signs, developed by the by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, ECPAT-USA and Polaris, provides an overview of the issues of human trafficking, suggested protocols for responding to suspicious activity, and signs of trafficking specific to different hospitality positions (in-room staff, restaurant, lobby, and security).

Objectives of the course: 

  • Define human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children;
  • Identify individuals who are most at risk for human trafficking;
  • Understand the difference between labor and sex trafficking specific to the hotel sector;
  • Explain the role of hospitality employees in responding to this issue.   

Languages available:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Deutch (German)
  • English
  • Espanol (Spanish)
  • French (Canadian)
  • French
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Russian
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Note: This program is not available for purchase directly through AHLA.

For more information and to order, call 1 800.349.0299 or 1 407.999.8100 or contact sales@ahlei.org.

To host this program at an academic institution, please call 1 800.344.4381 or contact academics@ahlei.org.

Ways To Get Involved

  1. Display the Awareness Poster in your office. 
  2. Hand out the Human Trafficking Indicators card
  3. Check out other Department of Homeland Security anti-human trafficking materials on the Blue Campaign Website
  4. Learn more about your responsibilities as an employer
  5. Be a conscientious consumer as you make purchases for your business. Refer to the Department of Labor's List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
  6. Share your ideas on how the Department and your company can help raise awareness and combat human trafficking.
  7. View the Child Trafficking Webinar on the AHLA Member Webinar Archive page.

We are thankful for the partnerships we have developed in this endeavor with organizations like Polaris and ECPAT-USA; these organizations do incredible work every day and have helped our industry bolster its response to human trafficking.

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