This coming Sunday is one of the year’s biggest sporting events – or so I’ve heard; I couldn’t care less that the Super Bowl will be played. I’ll be snuggled on the couch watching DVDs of Hercule Poirot and “Foyle’s War”.
But while sports fans are cheering on their teams, there’ll be something else going on that deserves even more attention than the action on the field: sex slavery.
The Associated Press reports in a story yesterday that “Cities that host the big game often attract a bustling sex trade,” and this year law enforcement officials are gearing up to combat increased prostitution. What you may not know is the extent that prostitution involves children.
Traffick911, a Christian, Texas-based organization, is working to raise awareness about sexual slavery during the Super Bowl with their “I’m Not Buying It” campaign.
I know, it sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Slavery in the 21st century?
Yes, slavery in the 21st century. (Remember Jaycee Lee Dugard?) Call is child exploitation, sexual slavery, or human trafficking, and during the Super Bowl it’ll happen in droves. According to the AP story, last year’s Super Bowl in Miami drew as many as 10,000 prostitutes, including children and human trafficking victims.
Linda Jones at AOL.com news reports that “Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott predicts that hundreds of sex workers will flow into the Dallas area during Super Bowl, and he has assigned two dozen of his staff to assist local police in efforts to minimize prostitution, The Dallas Morning News reported.”
And it’s not just police in Texas who are going to be on the lookout. Jones also write that airlines are training crews to be on the lookout for trafficking victims who are being transported via air. The training will help airline crews recognize women and children who may be being transported against their will, and give crews tools to help in the situation.
Human trafficking doesn’t always involve sex. The U.S. Federal Government defines human trafficking:
“(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age ; or (B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude , peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.” [U.S.C. §7102(8)]
- There are an estimated 27 million people enslaved around the world. That’s twice the number of Africans enslaved during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
- It’s estimated that 1.2 million children are trafficked annually around the world, mostly for the purposes of prostitution, pornography and sexual exploitation.
- Human trafficking isn’t only a problem for third world countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
- It’s believed between 40,000 and 50,000 persons are trafficked into the U.S. each year from Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe, 15,000 of them children.
- The profits from human trafficking worldwide are estimated at $32 billion annually, making it the second most profitable crime after drug trafficking.
You can learn more about human trafficking and sex slavery on these websites: