Why Won’t the 2011 Super Bowl Committee Protect Kids from Rape?

While the Super Bowl is a time of celebration for football fans in America, it’s often a time of exploitation for trafficked children. Last year, traffickers from as far away as Hawaii brought underage girls to the Super Bowl in Miami, where adult men paid to rape them. This year is shaping up to be more of the same. That is, unless the Super Bowl XLV host committee is willing to stand up for kids in Dallas/Ft. Worth. Sadly, so far, they’re not.

Over 30,000 Change.org members have asked the 2011 Super Bowl host committee to stand against child sex trafficking by incorporating the “I’m Not Buying It” campaign into their official event materials. “I’m Not Buying It” is an innovative public education and prevention campaign developed by local anti-trafficking organization Traffick911. The campaign features a PSA made by former New England Patriot Devin Wyman, where he addresses child sex trafficking and asks other men to join him in protecting kids.  The campaign also offers free posters, banners, and informational cards aimed at preventing the victimization of children. All these materials have been offered to the Super Bowl host committee. But so far, they refuse to lift a finger to distribute them and help kids in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

And they’re just about the only ones in Texas unwilling to help stop child sex trafficking. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott publicly stated that “the Super Bowl is one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States.” His office is working with law enforcement and victims’ advocacy groups to identify and assist children trafficked into Texas for the big game. Traffick911 is also working on the ground to get the word out that child traffickers are unwelcome in Dallas/Ft. Worth or near the Cowboys stadium. But unfortunately, all this great work is happening without the help of the host committee, the organization poised to have the biggest impact in the fight against trafficking in Texas.

No one knows how many children will be trafficked to Dallas/Ft. Worth for this year’s Super Bowl. But considering that Texas has one of the biggest human trafficking problems in the country, and that last year’s Super Bowl saw an increase in the amount of child trafficking around the event, the issue is potentially explosive. The Super Bowl host committee can continue to ignore this problem while young children are bought and sold at their event, or they can use their considerable influence to fight child sex trafficking in Texas.

Will you join the over 30,000 Change.org members in asking the Super Bowl XLV host committee to stand against child sex trafficking and incorporate Traffick911’s “I’m Not Buying It” awareness campaign into their official materials.?

 

 

source: http://humantrafficking.change.org/blog/view/why_wont_the_2011_super_bowl_committee_protect_kids_from_rape

Victory! LAPD Releases Detained Trafficking Victims

Last November, a police raid on a Los Angeles club resulted in the arrest and detainment of 80 undocumented women. But instead of listening to their claims of abuse and spotting the many, significant indicators of human trafficking, the LAPD treated the women like criminals and turned them over to ICE. Now, finally, all the women have been released from custody. But the club’s owners and operators and the men who bought and used these trafficked women are still free.

This victory was won by the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights in Los Angeles and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, both of whom worked to get the detained women released, and in some cases, interviewed as possible human trafficking victims. Additionally, over 1,000 Change.org members signed a petition demanding that the LAPD stop treating potential trafficking victims like criminals. Thanks to the advocacy of so many, this case has a happy ending. But across the country, trafficked men and women — especially undocumented victims — are treated as criminals and deported before they get a chance to tell their stories.

The remaining failure in the Club 907 case is that the police didn’t arrest any of the people responsible for trafficking, abusing, or taking advantage of these women. Sadly, the double injustice of arresting trafficking victims while their traffickers and buyers go free is not unusual news. In this case, the injustice of arresting victims has been corrected. But as Lauren Markham writes over on the Immigrant Rights blog, the club owners were advertising for more dancers on Craigslist within a week.

The process of reforming police departments to identify potential trafficking victims and treat them as such will be a long one. That’s why the efforts from organizations like CHIR and AILA, as well as grassroots advocacy like Change.org members holding police accountable, are so critical to protect human trafficking victims. And maybe next time, this victory will be even more complete when the victims are treated as victims and their abusers are held accountable.

 

 

source: http://humantrafficking.change.org/blog/view/victory_lapd_releases_detained_trafficking_victims

 

Published in: on January 23, 2011 at 11:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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