The Problem

One of the most commonly reported venues for sex trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline is hotels and motels. We know that pimps and traffickers use hotel and motel rooms when setting up so-called “dates” between victims of sex trafficking and those individuals purchasing sex. We also know labor trafficking is present in both the hotel industry’s work force and in the supply chain of its products.

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.


  • 1,434 cases of human trafficking in hotels and motels*
  • 294 cases of labor exploitation in hotels and motels*
  • 7 recommendations to help hotel owners and employees stop human trafficking

*Cases reported to the National Hotline and Polaris’s BeFree Textline (Dec. 2007 - Feb. 2015)

The Solution

Industry leaders are increasingly recognizing the unique role they can play in preventing and disrupting this crime. Hotels must formally adopt company-wide anti-trafficking policies, train staff on what to look for and how to respond, establish a safe and secure reporting mechanism, and work with suppliers and vendors who responsibly source their products.

ECPAT-USA has developed The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, a set of business guidelines to help travel companies prevent child sex trafficking. Read The Code here.

Our Work In Action

Polaris engages with the hotel industry to provide tools for businesses to identify all forms of human trafficking, and coordinates with the National Human Trafficking Hotline for support when trafficking is suspected.  Polaris’s work includes collaboration with Caravan Studios to develop Safenight, a safe shelter solution for victims of human trafficking that includes hotel placements, and hotel placement support for victims through the Points for Polaris program with Wyndham.  Polaris is currently partnering with the American Hotel and Lodging Association to provide a web-based training for hotel employees in Baltimore, the first municipality to require a training on all forms of human trafficking. Most recently, Polaris entered into a partnership with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), the largest hotel owners association in the world. This partnership includes the development of human trafficking trainings that will be made available to more than 16,000 AAHOA members in the United States.

Photo credit: ElementalImages/Getty Images


Wyndham Hotel Group Partnership

Polaris has partnered with Wyndham Hotel Group, the world's largest hotel company with approximately 7,590 hotels, in order to prevent human trafficking within its business.


Courtney Walsh

Manager of Corporate and Strategic Partnerships