The Warm Up
In preparation for Super Bowl 2014 at the Meadowlands, the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking is mobilizing the community to deter an increase in human trafficking activities that are often associated with large sports events. The NJ Coalition is working closely with the NJ Attorney General’s Office.
Why is there concern about sex trafficking in preparation for Super Bowl 2014?
Sex Trafficking is often associated with large sporting events. In preparation for the Super Bowls, law enforcement, attorney generals, the interfaith community, and community advocates have worked together to deter trafficking and to raise awareness about the issue.
The Super Bowl attracts tens of thousands of fans to the host city, and millions of television viewers, making it the most watched broadcast each year. But it also attracts a sector of violence, organized criminal activity that operates in plain sight without notice, including Human Trafficking in both the sex and labor industries. Our efforts should not be misconstrued as vilifying the National Football League, but rather acknowledging that unacceptable behavior can and does happen around major sporting events.
Best Practices Implemented to Deter Sex Trafficking at Super Bowls
Starting in 2004, statistics began to be collected at international sporting events such as the Olympics, World Cups, and 2011 Super Bowl, and since then efforts to tackle and deter this crime have become a regular part of Super Bowl preparations at the State level. Last year, the Indiana Attorney General published results of anti-trafficking efforts surrounding the 2013 Super Bowl. The NJ Coalition has focused on the following areas this past year.
- Strengthen Law Enforcement & Victim Services
- Raise Community Awareness – through outreach, media, and trainings
- Engage Civil Society – local and national advocates, community organizations, churches, and colleges
- Anti-Demand Campaign
- Outreach to groups at risk
- Establish protocols within the travel and tourism industry including local hotels
- Distribute Victim Recovery Materials
- Strengthen laws to facilitate prosecuting traffickers and rescuing victims