U.S.

Does The Super Bowl Have A Sex Trafficking Problem?

Although American media reports the Super Bowl is bringing a spike in sex trafficking to New Jersey and New York, many academics say otherwise.

Does The Super Bowl Have A Sex Trafficking Problem?
Wikimedia Commons / Kay Chernush
SMS

Super Bowl Sunday is on the horizon and New Jersey is expected to see a spike in its economy, tourism and ...  sex trafficking? 

It's supposedly a dark underbelly of the annual championship game — one that is grabbing headlines all across the county. Police have also made it clear they are aware and prepared to fight back.  (Via NBC, The New York Times, CBS, Fox News

On Thursday, New York authorities uncovered a high-end sex and drug ring. The high-end escort service reportedly imported women primarily from Korea and increased the number of women available as the Super Bowl got closer. (Via CNN)

New Jersey has also beefed up its preventative efforts. "Degrade, dehumanize and victimize at your own peril because you are just as likely to hook up with a pair of our handcuffs as you are with a victim of sex slavery." (Via News 12

Al Jazeera reports the Super Bowl is routinely described as the biggest sex trafficking event in the U.S., with many underaged and working against their will. 

"By one accounting as many as 10,000 girls and women were trafficked to Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl. ... Attention is exactly what government officials are trying to gain, spotlighting the issue with ads like this."  

But advocacy groups like ‚ÄčGlobal Alliance Against Traffic in Women say an uptick in sex trafficking during the Super Bowl is a myth. 

"GAATW’s 2011 report... critically analysed this manufactured media hype about the role of international sporting events in creating a 'demand' for trafficked women and children. Although this always generates a lot of ... attention ... there is no evidence to support the claim."

 

A another study made similar claims about the World Cup, which will take place in Brazil later this year. (Via The Lancet

And this one related to the London Olympics claims an increase in sex workers during such events simply isn't true. (Via BMJ)

"Sex trafficking is a year-round problem but law enforcement across the county has made steady gains to try and stop it. Still as long as there's a demand there will always be a supply."  (Via CNN)