San Diego's hotel and motel employees recently took part in a training session on recognizing and responding to the warning signs of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.
The SAFE San Diego Hotel-Motel Human Trafficking Awareness Symposium was hosted by San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Sheriff Bill Gore and Supervisor Dianne Jacob in partnership with the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association, with the goal of educating hotel employees on human trafficking in advance of summer events such as the MLB All-Star Game and Comic-Con. Both events take place in July, and hotels are considered high-value locations for human and sex trafficking during large events.
"In San Diego (and) Tijuana it’s a major problem and we don’t want people to get numb to the fact it’s a major problem," Dr. Jamie Gates of Point Loma Nazarene University told Fox. "There are about three to eight thousand survivors in a year and a good percentage of that is happening in the hotels."
Sex trafficking in San Diego is an $810-million industry, and roughly 70 percent of transactions take place using social media in locations such as hotels.