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Education,HGA Global Forum,Human Trafficking

The Warning Signs of Human Trafficking


The Warning Signs of Human Trafficking

The travel and tourism industry can play a key role in ending human trafficking. Many organizations have partnered with ECPAT, Ending Child Slavery at the Source, to increase awareness and educate travelers about the warning signs of human trafficking.

Hosts Global Alliance recently hosted Mary Anne Zoldak, Vice President of Human Resources for Maritz Travel, at the 2014 HGA Global Forum in Cancun, Mexico. Maritz Travel committed to helping raise awareness throughout the travel and tourism industry in 2013 by signing the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. As a HGA Global Forum speaker, Mary Anne educated 200 of Hosts’ clients, guests, and staff on how to identify victims and properly notify authorities. She shared great insight and informed attendees of the warning signs that travelers should watch for when traveling. Here are the warning signs.

How to Recognize Human Trafficking

A person who has been trafficked may:

  • Show signs that their movement is controlled
  • Have few or no personal possessions
  • Have no control of their travel documents or identification papers
  • Have false identity or travel documents
  • Have someone speak for them, or a third party insists on being present and translating
  • Not know their home or work address
  • Be unaware of their whereabouts; have lost a sense of time
  • Have numerous inconsistencies in their story
  • Have no access to their earnings
  • Be unable to negotiate working conditions
  • Work excessively long hours over long periods
  • Have limited or no social interaction
  • Have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment
  • Think that they are bonded by debt

When returning home from the HGA Global Forum, an attendee overheard a border patrol agent at the airport questioning a young girl that appeared to be traveling alone. She recognized several of the warning signs. The young girl had no personal possessions, and she indicated that someone else bought her ticket but was not aware of their identity. After reporting her story to the human trafficking hotline and alerting TSA, the authorities were able to identify the situation as human trafficking and safely remove the young girl.

Through education and awareness, we can all play a part in ending human trafficking. Hosts Global Alliance pledges to train employees on children’s rights, educate them about the warning signs, and teach them the proper steps in reporting a possible situation where human trafficking may be involved. HGA will continue our support of ECPAT and the plight to end the exploitation of children globally.

If you believe to have identified a case of human trafficking, it is very important that you call the human trafficking hotline first. They will instruct you on the proper steps to take to ensure that the victim is safely removed from the situation. Acting out of standard protocol may put the life of the victim in jeopardy. You can reach the human trafficking hotline at 888-3737-888.

For more information, please visit EPCAT or The Code.

Karen Christensen, CMP – Vice President, Sales
  Hosts Global Alliance