Sex trafficking is one of the most serious human rights violations in the world. New Jersey law enforcement is concentrating their efforts on educating service industry workers how to spot victims during the 2014 Super Bowl festivities. The Super Bowl is one of the largest sporting events in the world; it draws nearly a half a million men and some come to town and some aren’t interested in football.
All hospitality workers that may come in contact with the revelers are trained to recognize some of the signs of sexual slavery. Sex trafficking involves a “pimp” to facilitate the prostitution because the workers are unwilling. Servers, hotel employees, and other service industry workers are being trained to keep an eye out for underage, possibly foreign sex workers; or those that appear to be scared or show signs of physical abuse. Although the most common, women and girls are not the only ones likely to become the prey of sex traffickers; men and boys are also victimized by pimps.
Experts say that all major sporting events attract sex traffickers, but the Super Bowl is the largest. New Jersey is an excellent breeding ground for human trafficking because of the short distance to New York, with its sophisticated highway system; sex slaves can be easily shuffled in and out of the city.
Even though it is difficult to quantify the increase in forced prostitution coinciding with the Super Bowl, common sense will tell you that the pimps will see any event that attracts this many men as an opportunity to make lots of money. A former victim of human trafficking says the problem should be addressed every day of the year because sexual slavery is not limited to major sporting events.