Not a Touchdown Yet
It was really awesome to see how much press human trafficking got before the Super Bowl. It felt like everywhere I turned, from Facebook to local news, people were banding together and joining the cause. I know a number of folks down in Texas added the National Human Trafficking Hotline to their phones, and groups like Traffick911 grew in membership and funds.
So where do we go from here?
Human trafficking does increase around the Super Bowl, but it’s a sad fact that human trafficking also increases whenever large groups of rich men gather. To be specific, human trafficking increases around large corporate conferences and sometimes even around massive evangelical events.
London is working with NGOs and universities right now to gather information about how to combat human trafficking at the 2012 Olympics. There will be other Super Bowls, NBA Championships, World Bank Summits, World Cups. Slavery makes up our chocolate, our cotton, our carpets.
Just as importantly, in our day-to-day lives we walk and drive through cities filled with slavery. The women who are trafficked in for the Super Bowl are trafficked somewhere else after that – many of them in and around Dallas.
Unfortunately, we have a long way to go to prevent human rights abuses around sporting events. Even when human trafficking is stopped, be it this side of heaven or later, people are forced off of their property on behalf of newer and bigger stadiums, and put out of work on behalf of sponsors who need the prime real estate outside of the game. Street-dwellers are driven away from the neighborhoods where they have found aid in order to make room for new condos. And citizens of host countries who wish to speak out about their corrupt government are arrested and silenced.
So if you’ve gotten behind the movement and worked in some way to fight for human rights this Super Bowl, consider where we are now as a first down on a long drive.