UCF hospitality students trained to spot human trafficking

The University of Central Florida is teaming up with the non-profit organization United Abolitionist to train the future leaders of hospitality on how to combat human trafficking. 

The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management will soon start training students on how to identify and report sex and labor trafficking through a series of three internship courses.

“The better trained they are the better they can end this this horrible, horrible thing that’s happening,” said Jessica Wickey, the internship program director for the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported its third highest call volume in the United States comes from Florida. United Abolitionist Founder and President Tomas Lares said trafficking networks rely on legitimate businesses to sustain their illegal operations so it is important for hospitality workers to know how to identify trafficking cases and what to do in order to help victims.

“They’ll know what hotline to call. They’ll know that there’s law enforcement that there’s a vice unit here,” Lares said.

“Internship one would look something like an overview of identifying human trafficking in the industry,” said Wickey, detailing the new courses which will start next fall. “Internship two would then start to identify, front desk, housekeeping, security and then internship three would be an overall of what resources we have.”