Human trafficking is a worldwide human rights issue, and one that is difficult to attack. The hospitality industry has, according to the New York Times, long been an “unwitting participant in human trafficking.” While it may not automatically come to mind, the obvious reality is that traffickers utilize the travel industry in close to the same way as all citizens. They take airplanes, trains and buses, and they stay in hotels. Recently, however, the travel industry has begun plans to combat this problem and potentially make it more difficult for human traffickers to navigate.
According to Sam Gilliland, chief executive of the travel technology company Sabre Holdings, human trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year business, and many groups think the figure is even higher. Polaris Project claims estimates that 21 to 27 million people globally are held in modern slavery conditions.
The travel industry and hospitality industry will begin training on 10,000 employees in 60 countries on how to identity human trafficking and report incidents. The Department of Transportation is also in the process of training more than 55,000 employees on these procedures. Amtrak will also train 20,000 employees.