Hotel workers in the Omaha area are undergoing training on how to spot women and minors being forced into prostitution.
The effort is part of a pilot project coordinated by the Coalition on Human Trafficking, comprised of law enforcement officials, nuns, charities and other organizations, the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1Jkhbni ) reported.
The coalition aims to provide awareness and tips to hotel and motel employees on how to respond when they believe someone is a victim of human trafficking or is being sexually abused.
Experts say high-profile events, such as the College World Series in Omaha, bring a higher risk of sex trafficking occurring at lodging facilities. The coalition’s long-term goal is to present training to all hotels and motels within 50 miles of Omaha.
The Magnolia Hotel in downtown Omaha is participating in the training program, with around 45 workers recently attending a presentation about human trafficking.
Tim Darby, general manager of Magnolia and president of the Metropolitan Hospitality Association, said he wanted to set an example to the industry with his hotel’s participation. A hotel’s job is to provide a safe and secure environment, he said.
“If we can help even one person, that would be amazing, and just the right thing to do,” Darby said.
Coalition member Shane Fagan said signs hotel staff should keep an eye out for include lodgers with a small amount of luggage, an unusual collection of wigs or IDs inside a suite, prepaid debit cards and girls who are unsure of what city they’re in.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com
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