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Proposed Ordinance Draws Light on Sex Trafficking in Local Hotels

Proposed Ordinance Draws Light on Sex Trafficking in Local Hotels

The hotel industry is one of many venues human traffickers use to exploit their victims. In fact, domestic sex trafficking is one of the largest forms of human trafficking in the U.S., with the commercial sex acts commonly happening in hotels.  At Wednesday’s Metro Council meeting ,an ordinance is being proposed that will draw light on a rise in sex trafficking and prostitution occurring at local hotels and motels.”
Ordinance co-sponsors Councilwoman Erika Green, Councilman Matt Watson, and Councilwoman Barbara Friedberg are following the trend with most cities by proposing regulations that deter drug and prostitution related criminal activity by creating the requirement of a hotel and motel permit and self-reporting.
Councilwoman Green stated, “We have to not close a blind eye to the fact that sex trafficking is occurring in our city and it is my hope that the front desk worker at a hotel or motel will help save a young person’s life through our measures.”
This ordinance pushes the hotel industry to take proactive measures in reporting any suspicious activities that typically are connectors to sex trafficking which include felony related incidents, prostitution related incidents, and drug related criminal activities.
The most important aspect of the ordinance is the encouragement of hotel and motel  staff to cooperate with law enforcement in an event of criminal activity. The intent of the ordinance is to promote self-reporting that will deter sex trafficking and prostitution in the Baton Rouge Area and ultimately protect vulnerable citizens’ health, safety, and welfare. Therefore, if law enforcement receives more than three verified calls by a guest or non-hotel employee for felony related independent incidents  or prostitution related independent incidents resulting in arrests within a 90 day period, then this ordinance and its penalties will become in effect.
The law also applies to five or more verified calls within a 30 day period for illegal felony drug incidents, prostitution, and violent felony crimes. This excludes notification made by hotel/motel management directly to law enforcement. The penalties to the hotels/motels include fines ranging from $500-$1000 depending on the number of available room occupancy and revocation/suspension of permit.
To voice your support for this initiative, we encourage you to contact your Metro Council member to vote in favor of this ordinance.

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