January 21, 2020
Super Bowl 54 will be held in Miami, Florida on Sunday, February 2, 2020. When the NFL chooses a city to host the Superbowl, they consider infrastructure and the weather. Human Trafficking prevention and rescue advocates look at some other factors. It has become a well-known fact that large sporting events and the “party atmosphere” increases demand for buying sex and consequently increased cases of Human Trafficking. Nonprofits and organizations dedicated to preventing Human Trafficking and rescuing victims are looking at a separate list of statistics regarding a host city. Advocates are taking a close look at local law enforcement policies as well as state laws. The states and cities themselves can be incentivized to prevent Human Trafficking due to the publicity and news that will be directed at the host city. A solid prevention and law enforcement strategy can both rescue victims and prevent more victims and a public relations disaster.
Florida earns a Grade of “A” on their report card from Shared Hope International similar to the state of Georgia, host of Super Bowl 53 in 2019. California will host Super Bowl 56 in 2022 in Los Angeles and only earns a grade of “C” from the rating system. The report cards analyze Criminalization of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, Criminal Provisions Addressing Demand, Criminal Provisions for Traffickers, Criminal Provisions for Facilitators, Protective Provisions for Child Victims, and Criminal Justice Tools for Investigation and Prosecution.
Florida is the third-highest state for Human Trafficking as reported by the National Human Trafficking hotline in 2018. Florida’s problem with Human Trafficking and law enforcement’s diligence on the matter made national headlines when Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots was arrested in Jupiter, Florida approximately one month after the Patriot’s latest Super Bowl win. Due to the prevalence of Human Trafficking in the state, Florida created a Statewide Council on Human Trafficking in 2014. The Council is chaired by Attorney General Moody and members include law enforcement officers, prosecutors, legislators, as well as experts in the fields of health, education and social services.
To deter Human Trafficking in Miami the Women’s Fund Miami has risen to accept the challenge. The Fund has launched a marketing campaign to deter buyers of sex. This campaign is in line with the #TackleDeman campaign sponsored by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. The Fund’s publicity campaign will include ads such as a "creepy guy" poster bearing the words: "Buy Sex. Be Exposed." That and other ads will appear on buses, in social media, on billboards, at mass transit stations and in many other places.