Combating Sex Trafficking: Examining the Spatial Distribution of Hotels in Urban Areas that Facilitate Sex Trafficking in the US
Keywords:sex trafficking, hotel, crime, urban area, spatial distribution of trafficking
This study examines the characteristics of hotels that have become critical locales for exploiting sex trafficking victims in all regions of the United States. In recent years, almost all the hotels named in the numerous civil suits filed by victims of human trafficking in US federal courts were in urban areas. The article focuses on the attributes of the hotels where the exploitation has been documented. The hotels are analyzed in terms of their price level and rating, their spatial distribution within cities, and the neighbourhood’s economic attributes. The analysis concludes that the hotels/motels are located close to major highways and airports, are primarily economy hotels, and three-quarters of named hotels are in poorer urban neighbourhoods. Yet one quarter are higher-end hotels reflecting the affluence of the customers. Strategies to address the problem are provided.