Sex trafficking education session in Denver(Photo: KUSA)
DENVER - Sex and human trafficking often goes unnoticed by hotel staffs across the nation, including cities like Denver.
“It’s not just in the lower end motels, it’s not just on Colfax or places that we think, it is everywhere,” said Kristen, investigator with Homeland Security Investigations. 9NEWS is only identifying her by the first name, because she often works undercover.
One way to make sure it doesn't go unnoticed is to educate people in the hotel industry about the signs that someone is being sold for sex.
Homeland Security Investigations is rolling out its “Safe Action Project,” a campaign to train hotel and hospitality staff on what to look for when it comes to sex trafficking.
“That is kind of our message, we would rather have you call anybody and report it to somebody,” Kristen said, “even if it turns out to be nothing, than miss one of those victims that’s suffering.”
Nonprofit Mile High Women’s Outreach organized a sex trafficking education session in Denver Monday.
A sex trafficking survivor 9NEWS will call “Amber,” to protect her identity, answered questions from the group.
Amber is almost 20. When she was 18-years-old, she was trafficked in Las Vegas, at some of the nicest casinos on the strip.
“I’m sure people are surprised that it happens right in front of them,” Amber said. “It happens in our everyday life, more than most people are aware of.”
Amber says hotel workers can help victims who are being trafficked against their will. “Keeping an eye open for trafficking and knowing the signs. Half the battle is knowing what to look for,” she said.
Mile High Women’s Outreach hoped for a full house of people to hear their message, but they didn’t get it.
Amie Mayhew, President and CEO of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association said hotels are taking this problem seriously. A lot of them do their own education on the subject.
“It’s something they are getting at their own property,” she said.
See the document below for general hotel warning signs. To see it on mobile, visit http://bit.ly/22W9RqU.
(© 2016 KUSA)