Workshop raises awareness of human trafficking in hotels

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Jeremiah Hatcher

The West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force partnered with the Department of Homeland Security and hosted a workshop seminar Monday at Hotel Capstone to teach local hospitality workers the signs of human trafficking.

Sergeant Ashley Blalock said human trafficking, for which 89 cases were reported in Alabama last year, often looks more subtle than people expect.

“If people are expecting it to look like the movie ‘Taken’ or things like that, then they are going to miss it happening in front of them, because it does not look the way the movies have portrayed it,” she explained.

Blalock said most who fall victim to human trafficking fall through social media and job postings. Knowing the signs and forms human trafficking can take can save countless lives.

At hotels, this looks like people with many bruises or scars, heavy foot traffic at all hours and large groups traveling together.

Telly Naco, who was staying at the hotel for a college orientation, said he was glad to see the community step up to combat an illegal, worldwide industry that robs 25 million people of their freedom every year.

“I think it’s a great thing, you know, not only because of the student body here and the younger girls and men in the area. I don’t think it could any harm to educated the staff here at Capstone,” he said.

If you or someone you know are being trafficked and need help, call the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force at 888-373-7888.

Categories: Local News