The Olympics: a time for the world to come together in collegial common purpose. And, unfortunately, for sex-trafficking.
To her credit, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper warned today is urging London to crack down preemptively, so we don't see a repeat of the Athens games, in which women and children were exploited and many men engaged in forced labor. As we know from our own Superbowl games and this summer's World Cup, big sporting events are magnets for traffickers — the scale of the Olympics makes the scale of the crimes that much greater, too. Said Cooper, "Studies worldwide show that international sporting events, where people move across borders, are used by criminals under the cover of tourism to exploit women and children. The Government must wake up to the risk that traffickers will seek to profit from the 2012 Games and take action to make sure this event does not make the situation worse." Traffickers take advantage not merely of the increased mobility the events allow — but the ready supply of customers. Cooper called the London games a chance to "make clear that buying sex from imprisoned women is not a sport." And it's also a chance for countries to come together in that purpose — a show of unity that would be more than symbolic.
Olympics Will Be Magnet For Sex Trafficking Gangs, Warns Yvette Cooper [This Is London]
Commonwealth Games Sex Trade Warning [BBC]
South Africa's New Slave Trade And The Campaign To Stop It [Time]