The Coalition on Human Trafficking is working to train hotel and motel employees to recognize the signs of sex trafficking.
Sister Celeste Wobeter, Chair of the Hotel/Motel Project, says the goal is to get 100% participation from all hotels and motels within a 50-mile radius, including Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs.
Sister Celeste says the training is threefold: to realize it’s happening, to recognize the signs and then to respond to the proper authorities, whether that’s law enforcement or the National Trafficking Hotline.
She says all hotel/motel employees need to be attentive to the signs: in the rooms, at the desk and in the lobby.
"Our goal is to reach not only the managers and front desk people, but also to train every employee in the hotel. That would include housekeepers who are often the most knowledgeable about things that are happening because they are in the rooms and see some of the signs of trafficking there. Also, maintenance people and restaurant workers.”
Sister Celeste says the hope is that by raising awareness and bringing in law enforcement, that the buyers will be arrested and those being trafficked will be rescued.
In addition to in-person training, she says the coalition is developing a video to give to managers to use to train new employees and to serve as a refresher for those who’ve already been trained.
For more information, the website is HumanTraffickingHotline.org.