In this context, “Sex trade needs a location for point of contact. Hotels are usually that point. If a staff is alert and spots a scared girl who does not produce an identity card or seems to be forced around by someone else, a possible trafficking victim has been identified,” says Vijaya Rahatkar, chairperson of the women’s commission.
India is a hotbed for sex trafficking – it serves being both a supplier and consumer of trafficked women and children. Maharashtra and West Bengal are recorded as the biggest buyers – and in Maharashtra alone, 7597 missing women and children were rescued in the last three years.
As a result, hotel staff will be trained to remain alert if they find the tag of ‘Do Not Disturb’ hanging from the door knob of a hotel room for days at a stretch, or if any girl shows signs of discomfort or exhibit suspicious behavior at the time of check-in. Trafficked victims are often accompanied by agents – as a result, receptionists will be trained to spot a trafficked victim by her nature of dependency on the person she is accompanied by.
Moreover, as revealed by Sanee Awsermmel, chairman of the alumni group of Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, staffers are going to be trained on 50 warning signs associated with flesh trade, such as excessive watching of porn, a male guest spending days with a minor in a room, frequent request to change bed linen and of course failure to produce valid identification proof by the girls.