Lawmakers discuss training hotel workers to detect human trafficking

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – A bill that’s currently in the Public Safety Committee would provide training for hospitality workers to identify and help victims of human trafficking.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require lodging establishments, like hotels, motels or bed and breakfasts to train their staff to recognize the signs of human trafficking.

One of the first lines of defense against traffickers is the maids who clean the rooms that victims are being housed in.

“When you empty the trash and someone has been in the room less than 24 hours and there’s probably you know six to eight used condoms in the trash, that is a sign that people are being trafficked in that hotel room,” Audrey Morrisey said.

About 85 percent of the children being trafficked are involved in the foster care system. Many of the traffickers will lure their victims in on social media by offering them money or more opportunities.

Experts on this topic say it’s happening more often and in areas of the country that people wouldn’t expect.

“It’s not necessarily the big cities where this is occurring, it’s the suburbs, it’s places where people don’t think they would be expected of it,” Rep. Walsh said.

The bill would also require Massachusetts hotels to post a picture of the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

So far, five states including Connecticut and New York have passed similar bills, and many people are hoping Massachusetts become number six.

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