Human trafficking and the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas, TX
Last week the Texas State Attorney General, Greg Abbott, announced he would be sending a dozen staff members from his human trafficking task force to assist local law enforcement in cracking down on human trafficking during the 2011 Super Bowl.
"The Super Bowl is one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States," Abbott said.
During the 2009 Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida, the Florida State Department of Children and Families took in 24 minors who had been trafficked to the Tampa area as Sex Slaves for the Super Bowl. These were just the ones that were found.
In 2010. the Women's Funding Network found an increase of 80% in Craigslist sex ads during the Super Bowl. Craigslist recently shut down their "Adult Services" section after receiving over 10,000 petition signatures from the public and pressure from a number of State Attorney Generals.
Although no one knows exactly how many people will be trafficked to North Texas for the Super Bowl in February 2011, anti-trafficking organizations estimate it will be in the thousands.
This is partially due to the fact that the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that over 14,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year and 25% of all trafficked persons come through Texas.
According to a report by Shared Hope International, which investigates human trafficking in major cities, the Dallas Police Department, Child Exploitation/High Risk Victims & Trafficking Unit has created a unique and effective investigative tool to combat domestic minor sex trafficking. The Dallas Police Department, Child Exploitation/High Risk Victims & Trafficking Unit (CE/HRVTU) has developed an investigative tool to identify high risk victims (HRV) by flagging all minors who have run away from home four or more times in one year, as well as any minors that are repeat victims of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation. In 2007, CE/HRVTU identified 189 HRV cases 119 of which involved prostitution.
Of those High Risk Victims cases, 75% included felony charges specifically related to domestic minor sex trafficking.
A number of local organizations are joining in the effort to raise awareness and support ground work in recognizing and reporting human trafficking for the Super Bowl 2011. You can learn more about these groups and how you can help by clicking the links below.