William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


There are roughly five million victims of sex trafficking in the United States. Over the course of a decade, over 3,500 instances of human trafficking involved a hotel or motel. Traffickers are relying on unaware lodging establishment employees, as well as complicit employees and managers, to successfully carry out their crimes. Despite the vital role the lodging industry plays in human trafficking, only seven states have implemented mandatory training for hotel and motel employees. This Note posits that the implementation of mandatory training and education programs for employees of lodging establishments could increase awareness and responsiveness to human trafficking, thus increasing reporting of and ultimately resulting in a decrease in future instances and victims of human trafficking. This Note further argues that beyond this recently implemented legislation, Virginia needs to allocate resources to support survivors to combat falling into patterns of homelessness, continued prostitution, and substance addiction and dependence.