Video aims to train hotel staff to ID sex trafficking

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 24, 2013 - 9:27 PM

They learn how to recognize it, what to do about it.

A new training video was released Thursday by the Ramsey County attorney’s office to help hotel and motel staff spot sex trafficking in their establishments.

The county attorney’s office produced and distributed the video in partnership with the Minnesota Lodging Association as part of an initiative over the past year centered on industry training about sex trafficking.

“In almost every recent case involving child sex trafficking in the state of Minnesota, the illegal transaction begins on Backpage.com and too often ends up at a local hotel or motel in our community,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement. “Our neighborhood children are being trafficked and everyone in our community can do something about it.”

The 20-minute video instructs lodging employees about how to recognize sex trafficking and what to do about it when they see it.

Some indicators that sex trafficking could be happening in an establishment are that the guests don’t have luggage, that the rooms are paid for in cash and that guests continuously refuse housekeeping services.

In August, the county attorney’s office launched the initiative that included a training session that drew about 65 employees from nearly 20 hotels and motels, as well as police and prosecutors from across the metro area.

Much of the initiative’s funding went to the creation of the training video, which has been made available online at the Ramsey County attorney’s office website under “Press Room.”

Educational posters have also been provided to hotels for use in employee break rooms.

The materials are available in Spanish, Hmong and Somali.

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