So, during the past three weeks I read a few articles on sex trafficking and the Super Bowl. Of course, the Super Bowl is not responsible for human/sex trafficking, but research has shown that the number of sex trafficking cases hike during such big sporting events. Traffickers use the opportunity to make money by selling to the people traveling to the area for the game. The recruitment of victims increases with the sudden increase of demand. These days, transactions can even be made online. The articles focused on the initiatives taken by government officials, volunteers, and non-profit organizations (such as SOAP/Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) to raise awareness about the issue. Most importantly, teaching hotels’ staff how to identify sex trafficking victims. That said, I quickly read some of the comments after the articles and found myself sadden by how little people seem to know about the problem. There are many myths and misconceptions about the subject. Therefore, I decided to write this post in an attempt to clear out some confusion.
Sex Trafficking vs. Prostitution. Sex trafficking is not your average prostitution case. Of course, when we think of prostitution, we usually think of willful prostitution. We think the men or women practicing prostitution have come to this position willfully, on his/her own. Well, unfortunately, this is not always true. It’s important to distinguish the two. Sex trafficking is not your “willful” prostitution case. Sex trafficking or human trafficking is a form of slavery, physical, mental, and emotional.
Sex Trafficking can happen everywhere. We always want to think that these cases happen in far away countries or to over people, but this is not the case. The perpetrators of such crime do not discriminate between the rich or the poor. They do not discriminate based on the color of your skin or the language you speak.
There are many spectrums of human trafficking, including, but not limited to:
Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation / Sex Trafficking. An organized network, where women are forced or blackmailed into sexual slavery and held in inhumane conditions and constant fear.
Trafficking for forced labour. They are recruited and trafficked using deception and coercion and find themselves held in conditions of slavery in a variety of jobs.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children in tourism. This crime type has been apparent in Asia for many years and has now taken hold in Africa as well as Central and South America. The phenomenon is promoted by the growth of inexpensive air travel and the relatively low risk of prohibition and prosecution in these destinations for engaging in sexual relations with minors.
Trafficking in organs. Trafficking in humans for the purpose of using their organs, in particular kidneys, is a rapidly growing field of criminal activity. The health of victims, even their lives, is at risk as operations may be carried out in clandestine conditions with no medical follow-up.
Human trafficking happens every day, not just during sporting events. Human trafficking is slavery. Remember to keep an eye out and spread the word. Talk to friends about it, you never know who might need the information. If you are a victim of human trafficking, call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733).
I hope everyone has a nice weekend. Stay safe, enjoy the Super Bowl and remember to keep an eye out. Good Luck.
Thanks for reading,
For more information: