The Episcopal Public Policy Network posted and circulated an “alert” about Human Trafficking and the Super Bowl. Here’s their claim,
For many of us, this Sunday’s Super Bowl represents a few hours of reprieve from work, responsibilities, and perhaps even diets, as we settle on the couch with friends and family to watch one of our nation’s most-celebrated sporting events. Tragically, perpetrators of the abhorrent and licentious criminal industry of human trafficking have seized on Super Bowl weekend and added a tragic dimension to what is otherwise a celebratory annual national event.But on January 31st, someone who ought to know, Kate Mogulescu, founder and supervising attorney of the Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project at the Legal Aid Society, offered the following inconvenient truth in a New York Times op-ed,
Unbeknownst to many, the Super Bowl is arguably the single largest sex trafficking incident in the United States. Each year, the city that welcomes droves of party-minded Super Bowl fans also (unknowingly) hosts increased incidents of underage prostitution.
The problem is that there is no substantiation of these claims. The rhetoric turns out to be just that.But the frenzy created by alarmists like The Episcopal Church upper crust leads to bad public policy, the consequences of which fall most heavily on exploited women,
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. Whether the game is in Dallas, Indianapolis or New Orleans, the pattern is the same: Each Super Bowl host state forms a trafficking task force to “respond” to the issue; the task force issues a foreboding statement; the National Football League pledges to work with local law enforcement to address trafficking; and news conference after news conference is held. The actual number of traffickers investigated or prosecuted hovers around zero.
The Super Bowl sex-trafficking hype isn’t just unfounded, though — it is actively harmful because it creates bad policy. In the days leading up to Sunday’s game, local law enforcement dedicated tremendous resources to targeting everyone engaged in prostitution.Because Episcopalian activists know what’s best for us. And because the angry LGBT&c bunch and the bitter, aging feminists who comprise the TEC elite think that they are launching jihad against male afflictions of the planet, like prostitution and football. And they’re willing to traffic in lies to conform public policy to their feeeeeelings, even in the face of contradictory evidence. And bad consequences for the people they claim to be helping.
As the supervising attorney of a project at the Legal Aid Society that represents nearly all of the people arrested on prostitution charges throughout New York City, I know firsthand the devastating consequences that aggressive arrest practices can have for both trafficked and nontrafficked people engaging in prostitution. Many, but not all, of our clients are, in fact, trafficked, and many more have survived an extensive amount of brutality, violence and trauma. Turning them into defendants and pushing them through the criminal justice system contradicts any claim of assistance…
..The New York State attorney general’s office announced another prostitution-ring bust at a Manhattan apartment building on Thursday morning. Although that investigation had been going on for 11 months, officials waited until this week to make the arrests and announcement. This was ostensibly to raise awareness of sex trafficking before the Super Bowl — even though there were no actual allegations of trafficking reported in the case.
These arrests are not indications of an increase in prostitution activity, but rather of an increase in policing. This has left the criminal courts scrambling to handle the additional cases, adding a significant strain to an already overburdened criminal justice system. Those arrested face jail, potential deportation, warrants for failure to appear and lifelong criminal records.
Human trafficking cannot be addressed by prosecuting victims in a criminal court. If, indeed, the goal is to address human trafficking, why is law enforcement targeting those believed to be victims?