Hospitality Industry Human Trafficking Prevention Toolkit

Hotels and motels are one of the locations where sex trafficking is known to occur at higher rates. In the United States, 75% of survivors reported coming into contact with hotels at some point during their exploitation, whether while traveling, as a location of exploitation, or during their escape and rehabilitation.

Sex trafficking can and does happen at hotels and motels at all price points—not just cheap motels. The buyers at hotels and motels may be tourists or business travelers but are also often locals.

Labor trafficking and exploitation also affect the hospitality industry at higher rates than average. Many hotels use recruiters or subcontractors to fill the local needs of their hotels, such as cleaning and maintenance staff, security guards, and bar and restaurant staff. These subcontractors and recruiters may use a combination of debt bondage, extortionate recruitment fees, or visa and passport seizure to control and manipulate workers. Additionally, it is not uncommon for hotels to rely on migrant and seasonal workers to help during the busiest seasons, which presents additional opportunities for exploitation.

The number one action that tourism and travel businesses can take is creating, formally adopting, and enforcing an organization-wide anti-trafficking policy. These policies could use The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as guidelines. These policies should include awareness trainings for employees, establish safe mechanisms and protocol for reporting human trafficking, and public transparency and disclosures about the steps being taken to ensure that there is no human trafficking in the business models.

The tools and resources below can help raise awareness about the increased risk for both sex and labor trafficking in the hospitality sector and provide best practices in operations and hiring to keep modern slavery out of the picture.

  • Best Practice Guidance for Franchising: (Safeguards to prevent human trafficking) — produced by Liberty Shared & Orrick, 2018
  • This is a twelve page document that covers human trafficking risks in relation to hotel franchise agreements, provides a legislative overview, and best practices for preventing trafficking in franchises. Click here to download
  • “Unpacking Human Trafficking: A Survey of State Laws Targeting Human Trafficking In The Hospitality Industry”— Published by ECPAT-US
  • A 44-page report providing State-by-state recommendations for anti-human trafficking measures. Find out if your state has anti-trafficking poster and/or training requirements for your workplace. Click here to read the key findings on the ECPAT-US website. Click here to download the full report.
  • 5 misconceptions about human trafficking in hospitality & 5 tips to combat human trafficking in hotels— written by Elliott Mest (2018)
  • Two short articles, originally published by Hotel Management. Click here to access: 5 misconceptions about human trafficking in hospitality. Click here to access: 5 tips to combat human trafficking in hotels
  • Adopting the Code: Human Trafficking and the Hospitality Industry—By Michele Sarkisian in Cornell University of Hotel Administration’s The Scholarly Commons
  • A 14-page report that outlines dimensions of human trafficking and how the hospitality industry can help prevent it. The report argues for expanded use of The Code to unify the industry against trafficking. Click here to download.
  • Human Trafficking and the Hotel Industry—produced by Polaris
  • A 4 Page document. Infographics, comprehensive statistics and information about trafficking and the hotel industry. Click here to download.
  • Human Trafficking Awareness for the Hospitality Industry— course produced by Stanford Online’s
  • This course, taught by Dr. Katherine R. Jolluck, provides an overview of the who, what, where and how of human trafficking. It is self-paced and takes approximately 1 hour to complete. The course is free, but you must enroll. Click here for course description & enrollment
  • Human Trafficking Awareness – Hospitality Industry Training—New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Division of Criminal Justice Human Trafficking Task Force
  • This course is approximately 8 hours. It provides basic information about how to identify human trafficking and/or related activity, and is available for free. Click here to access through YouTube
  • Inhospitable to Human Trafficking—Produced by Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST)
  • This is a 30-minute online training for people working in the hotel industry. The course will help you understand human trafficking in the hotel industry, signs, and what to do if you spot trafficking. The course is available for a fee and you will receive a certification upon completion. Click here for details and enrollment
  • FRLA Online Human Trafficking Awareness Course—Produced by Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA)
  • This is a self-paced course that will help you recognize signs of trafficking, report trafficking, and shares best practices to protect victims and reduce business liability. The course is free. Click here to access
  • Anti-Trafficking Checklist (for Management & Associates)- Produced by ECPAT-US
  • A 1-page checklist providing managers and associates 23 immediate steps they can take to help prevent trafficking. Click here to download
  • International Tourism Partnership Checklist & Sample Documents
  • A 6-page document, offering background information on trafficking and the guest worker program. It includes guidelines for checking/ vetting recruitment agencies, a sample terms and conditions document, and a code of conduct. Click here to download
  • Front & back of the house posters—produced by ECPAT-US
  • Several single-page posters providing information on spotting the signs of human trafficking and what to do if you suspect someone is a victim. Click HERE to download back of the house poster (English). Click HERE to download Front of the House Poster (English)
  • Indicator Card- Produced by ECPAT-US
  • This is a 2 page document (1 double sided card) that provides a condensed overview of trafficking indicators/ what to do when you identify the signs. Click here to download
  • Brochure Guidance for the Hotel Industry—produced by COMBAT Human Trafficking Project and the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Union
  • A trifold brochure that provides basic overview of signs, background information and what to do when you suspect trafficking. Click here to download
  • Rack Card—produced by The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara County
  • A 2 page document that provides information on the signs of trafficking separated by hospitality industry positions. Click here to download
  • Toolkit –produced by the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign
  • Preventing Human Trafficking at Major Sporting Events (Hotel Outreach Toolkit) —Produced by the tri-state coalition for responsible investment in partnership with NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility & ECPAT-US
  • A 15-page document providing anti-trafficking information, recommendations, case studies, and sample documents/ resources for hotel staff & management to use in advance of a large events. Click here to download
  • Hotel Industry Trafficking Toolkit– Produced by Oxford Brookes University
  • Multiple documents, reference guides, case studies, 10-minute trainers, aide memories, and example posters. Click here to access


Search our multilingual global database for resources and films on all
forms of human trafficking, all over the world.