February 13, 2022
Local and state officials kicked off an anti-human trafficking campaign on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Los Angeles International Airport to spread awareness ahead of the Super Bowl — which, like other large events, is susceptible to high levels of human and sex trafficking.
The airport installed signs on its digital screens and in the airport’s 460 restrooms to share resources for people who want to report suspected human trafficking and abuse before, during and after the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.
The efforts are part of the It’s A Penalty campaign, which works to prevent abuse, exploitation and human trafficking worldwide, particularly during large sporting events. The signs feature this year’s It’s A Penalty campaign ambassadors, Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“Large events, such as the Super Bowl, can lead to increased instances of human trafficking due to a high influx of visitors,” It’s A Penalty states on its website. “And when it comes to the prevalence of commercial sex industries, California is particularly vulnerable because of its proximity to international borders, number of ports and airports, significant immigrant population and large economy that includes industries that attract forced labor.”
On Tuesday, It’s A Penalty’s CEO Sarah de Carvalho kicked off the campaign at LAX with California Attorney General Rob Bonta and L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez, along with representatives of the airport, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, Uber, Airbnb, American Airlines, A21 and the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.
Read the full story by Margaret Shuttleworth on Los Angeles Daily News.
December 21, 2021
A federal jury said a man from New Haven was found guilty of commercial sex trafficking during last year’s Super Bowl in Miami.
The U.S Attorney’s Office in Florida said 48-year-old Edward Walker brought two adult woman and a 17-year-old girl to Miami from Connecticut to engage in commercial sex acts during the Super Bowl.
Court officials said Walker “emotionally, psychologically and financially coerced the victims into soliciting customers and having sex with them in exchange for money, all of which Walker kept.”
Additional evidence also showed that Walker planned to take the women to Chicago, New Orleans and Las Vegas to further sexually exploit them, officials said.
Read the full story on NBC Connecticut.
February 11, 2019
Bars of soap in hotel rooms might save lives this Super Bowl weekend.
As the eyes of the world watch the action unfolding at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, police, authorities, airlines and hotels are dealing with a sinister problem that tends to arise this time of year: human trafficking activity.
While antislavery groups are cautious to paint Super Bowl as a magnet for sex trafficking — they’re quick to point out it’s a year-round problem — the NFL championship match is often been dubbed the biggest sex trafficking event in the United States, as hundreds of thousands of cashed-up sports fans descend on the host city to celebrate the big game and, in many cases, indulge in sex services that use Super Bowl as their hook.
What’s worse is this year’s host city, Atlanta, is considered one of the biggest hubs of sex trafficking nationwide, according to WTOL News.
Anti-human trafficking groups and authorities have stepped up their efforts to bust sex rings and rescue victims. Posters have been plastered around the city bearing the faces of 16 missing girls feared to be victims of human trafficking.
Atlanta police officers have been given two hours of extra training on how to recognise and deal with human trafficking in the lead-up to Super Bowl weekend, a police spokesman told Reuters.
Police in Georgia have already arrested at least 40 people in relation to sex trafficking over the weekend, and rescued four victims.
And hotel staff and flight attendants — often regarded as the frontline defence against human trafficking — are stepping up their efforts to identify victims.
And this year, hotels have seen an unusual but hopefully effective approach.
Massive deliveries of bars of soap and makeup wipes were dropped off at hotels around Atlanta last weekend bearing a message to potential victims and a phone number to get help.
To read the full story on News.com.au: Click Here