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Hotel staff to be trained to detect signs of ‘sex trafficking’

By Newsd
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Hotel staff to be trained to detect signs of ‘sex trafficking’
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Hotels in Mumbai and other cities will train their staff to spot signs of sex trafficking like frequent requests for bed linen changes or a “Do Not Disturb” sign left on the door for days. People behind the initiative are also developing an app, Rescue Me. It will help hotel staff to alert local police and senior anti-trafficking officers if they see any suspicious behaviour.

Hotels are breeding grounds for human trade,” said Sanee Awsarmmel, chairman of the alumni group of Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology. “(We) have hospitality professionals working in hotels across the country. We are committed to this cause.”

The initiative, led by the alumni group and supported by the Maharashtra government, comes at the time of growing recognition that hotels have an important role to play in ending modern day slavery. Notably, Maharashtra is a key destination for trafficked girls who are enticed by the promise of jobs. They then sold into the sex trade or domestic slavery.

Awsarmmel said hotels would be told about 50 signs that staff required to observe including requests for rooms with a view of the car park. Awsarmmel said hotel staff frequently sees odd behaviour such as a girl’s silence or her dependence on the person escorting her to talk and give her proof of identity. But in most cases, staff ignores these signs or has no idea what to do. The Rescue Me app will have a text feature to send an alert to police.

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