How to Spot a Sex Trafficking Victim at a Hotel

TIME

As it has become clear over the last few years that sex trafficking takes place on every continent (O.K., maybe not Antarctica), approaches to defining it and ending it have changed. While there are ghastly situations in which young girls’ virginity is sold off by their debt-stricken parents in Cambodia, the reality is that western countries are by no means immune to the trade. Runaways, girls who have fallen for the wrong guy and naive women who have traveled from another country on the promise of a legitimate job can get trapped in prostitution rings anywhere.

One front in this battle has been the hotel industry. Traffickers like to use hotels to ply their trade, since they can get in and make some money and then move on before they attract too much attention. Neighbors tend to take a dim view of brothels and report them to the…

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