Video aims to help hotel employees detect and report sex trafficking

A new video to educate local hotel employees about recognizing sex trafficking was released Thursday by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

The 20-minute video follows previous efforts to train hotel employees about detecting and reporting sex trafficking. The video is available in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali.

“Because sex trafficking so often occurs within a hotel setting, training in hotels is vital to being able to combat trafficking and protect our youth throughout the states,” Beatriz Menanteau said in the video. Menanteau is an attorney for The Advocates for Human Rights.

Law enforcement called on hotel workers to join in the fight against sex trafficking in August 2012  when they presented first-of-its-kind training with hotel and motel managers, law enforcement, and advocacy organizations.

“In almost every recent case involving child sex trafficking in the state of Minnesota, the illegal transaction begins on Backpage.com and too often ends up at a local hotel or motel in our community,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi in a news release. “Our neighborhood children are being trafficked and everyone in our community can do something about it.”

Sex trafficking is the buying and selling of people for sex. The video explains that in Minnesota, the legal definition covers more ground than the federal definition. It is defined as “receiving, recruiting, enticing, harboring, providing or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of that individual.”

Earlier this year, training for hotel employees included a document listing signs that may indicate sex trafficking is happening in their establishments.