The Super Bowl is a sweet spot for sports fans — but also for sex traffickers, and these days you can order an underaged girl as quickly as a pizza.
On Monday, New Jersey Representative Christopher Smith said in a House hearing that 10,000 women and girls were funneled into Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl celebrations alone, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. With the Seahawks and Broncos suiting up for Sunday's Super Bowl in New Jersey, Smith and activist groups like the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking and End Child Prostitution and Trafficking-USA are making it their mission to curb trafficking. Other organizations like the Global Alliance Against Traffic of Women said that there is little correlation between trafficking and big sporting events, but websites like Backpage and others flourish during big bashes like Super Bowl and the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
Leading up to the big game, hotel and transportation workers have undergone training sessions to spot possible trafficking victims by targeting young people paying in cash and without luggage. Elsewhere, police and transit workers are looking for suspicious youth who have no ID on their person and refuse to answer direct questions.
And while the number of women and young girls trafficked for a celebration like the Super Bowl may be up for debate, the practice of someone's child, family member or friend being forced into sexual servitude shouldn't be.
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