February 1, 2014
SUPERBOWL SEX-TRAFFICKING CLAIMS: Basically, dishonest marketing by sleazy nonprofits and their political cronies.
A now familiar feature of this coverage, wherever the Super Bowl is held, is an abundance of stories, from Reuters to CNN, reporting that the event will cause a surge in sex trafficking to capitalize on the influx of fans and tourists.
Representative Christopher H. Smith, Republican of New Jersey and co-chairman of the House anti-human trafficking caucus, and Gov. Chris Christie announced a law enforcement crackdown. Cindy McCain, in advance of next year’s Super Bowl in Arizona, flew in to stand at Mr. Christie’s side, declaring that the Super Bowl is “the largest human-trafficking event on the planet.”
The problem is that there is no substantiation of these claims. The rhetoric turns out to be just that.
No data actually support the notion that increased sex trafficking accompanies the Super Bowl. The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, a network of nongovernmental organizations, published a report in 2011 examining the record on sex trafficking related to World Cup soccer games, the Olympics and the Super Bowl. It found that, “despite massive media attention, law enforcement measures and efforts by prostitution abolitionist groups, there is no empirical evidence that trafficking for prostitution increases around large sporting events.”
Even with this lack of evidence, the myth has taken hold through sheer force of repetition, playing on desires to rescue trafficking victims and appear tough on crime.
Lying profiteers, posing as saviors.