A World Cup with Less Injuries
On Sunday, the Netherlands took on Spain in the final World Cup match. Spain is obviously a tremendous team, and to fight them it seemed clear that Holland was forced to use some violent tactics, even deserving of red cards.
The game will be remembered, among other things, as the most penalty-ridden World Cup final in history, even if none of the players left the pitch with serious injuries.
But the World Cup itself will not be remembered for its violence – it will be remembered, at least by some, as an example of how to deter human trafficking.
One of the best ways to end human trafficking is to combat demand. But how? Well, even though probably by accident, South Africa figured it out.
CNN has reported that South Africa saw a huge decrease in the prostitution industry during the six weeks of the World Cup. One escort company saw an 80% decrease in demand that almost put them out of business.
From a human trafficking standpoint, the numbers are hard to determine. Just like any major sports event, many women and children were brought into the country against their wills in preparation for the tourists. But it seems that almost all of the sex industry saw a decrease in demand, not only from other World Cups, but from regular weeks of business.
It may seem like a strange fluke, but the downturn is in fact quite explicable.
South Africa is very far away from the typical World Cup tourist. Asian, European and South American fans cannot simply get in the car and drive to the event for a weekend (unless they are Dutch, of course).
So event planners found that the majority of attendees were people wanting to make the trip a big family event. They brought their children, took weeks of their vacation time, and decided to go see South Africa.
Museum traffic skyrocketed, with some smaller museums hardly able to hold the influx of fans. Families, couples and even the football teams visited art galleries, theaters, and the Johannesburg Apartheid Museum.
If it is indeed true that the remote location was a deterrent to human trafficking, I propose a change in plans for 2014: Goodbye, Brazil! Hello, Qaanaaq, Greenland!
Do you think this World Cup was a success? Why or why not?