A Phone App is Fighting for Freedom in the Hotel Industry

How to Use TraffickCam in Your Abolitionist Efforts

In the day and age where selfies are abundant and most of us have smartphones on our person at any given time, what would you say to photographs that fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors?

TraffickCam has created an app that allows users to submit photos of their hotel rooms to a database. This database is accessible to officials investigating crimes such as sexual exploitation of minors and sex trafficking.

Hotels and motels are optimal locations for illegal exchanges due to access and anonymity. When someone decides to pay for sex, particularly when someone decides to pay to abuse a child, they want to keep the transaction under wraps. For example, people can pay with cash and reserve a room with a false, untraceable name. A trafficker or abuser can pose as a child’s father, uncle, or brother–speaking for the victim if questioned. In addition, traffickers often post advertisements online that include the hotel rooms in the background. Child abuse images often are made in hotels.

It’s an uncomfortable topic, but it’s one that needs to be talked about in order for solutions to develop. Next time you are in a hotel, follow these three steps: Observe, Act, Stop Human Trafficking.

  1. Observe (What to Look For):

Red Flags of Human Trafficking include: paying with cash, several men checking into the hotel with one child (or woman), denial of cleaning services for several days, or several men coming and going from one room.

In 2014, Time Magazine published an article How to Spot a Sex Trafficking Victim at a Hotel.

http://time.com/3525640/sex-trafficking-victim-prostitution-hotel/

It is a great resource for both hotel employees and hotel guests.

  1. Act (What to Do):

If you see something suspicious, contact hotel management. Do not try to confront the victim or the traffickers yourself, as this could cause them to flee or result in injury to the person you are trying to help (or injury to yourself).

  1. Stop Human Trafficking (Or Snap A Pic)

Even if you see no signs of trafficking, you can join the fight!

http://traffickcam.org/download

TraffickCam is compatible for both Apple and Android devices! Click the link above to get started!

Human trafficking is something that we can end, if we consciously put effort toward freedom for all.

 

For More information on the TraffickCam App and Trafficking:

https://allianceforworkers.org/news/traffickcam-app-fights-human-trafficking-crowdsourced-photos-hotel-rooms/

http://www.bustle.com/articles/169267-the-traffickcam-app-helps-you-stop-sex-trafficking-from-your-hotel-room

http://polarisproject.org/resources/human-trafficking-and-hotel-industry

 

Cases in Greenville, NC:

http://www.reflector.com/News/2014/12/02/Teen-safe-three-in-jail.html

http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/Ayden-man-charged-with-human-trafficking-297756341.html

 

To Report a Tip or Request Services: Call 1-888-373-7888

Visit https://traffickingresourcecenter.org/ to learn more.

 

Writing for Freedom,

 

Kari Carr

“Great acts are made of small deeds.” –Lao Tzu

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