Super Bowl Sex Trafficking: Is it Real or Just a Rumor?

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By Keerthi Mohan | February 1, 2014 9:23 PM EST

With tens of thousands of people arriving in New Jersey and New York metropolitan areas for Sunday’s Super Bowl, the focus of authorities has turned to making the game, said to be "the largest human-trafficking event on the planet" free from such evils.

Reuters
Super Bowl

Delta Airlines, the official airline sponsor of the Seahawks, has trained around 8,000 of its New York City staff to recognize sex trafficking, and local law enforcement authorities have employed their resources to thwart any sex trafficking attempts.

Flight attendant and airport workers have also been trained to help identity sex trafficking rackets.

“Any type of major sporting event or major convention, homecomings, any major event where there is going to be a lot of men, a lot of money, a lot of alcohol, there is going to be an increase in demand for commercial sex, which leads to more sex trafficking,” Andrea Powell, founder and executive director for FAIR Girls, a non-profit organisation that works towards preventing the exploitation of girls, told ABC News.

But, is Super Bowl sex trafficking real? A New York Times report pointed out that there is a lack of substantial data to prove these claims, and it is merely a myth that’s gaining importance due to sheer repetition.

“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,” the Times reported citing a study conducted by The Global Alliance Against Taffic in Women, a network of non-governmental organizations.

But, social advocates told ABC News that the number of prostitution-related advertisements in New York area increased by 50 percent, and it is expected to triple by Sunday.

“During the Dallas Super Bowl in 2011 there was a 300% increase in the Internet ads regarding sex trafficking on some of these sites. In the Florida Super Bowl in 2009 they were actually advertising a young woman as a Super Bowl special,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., told the website.

Sunday's game will be played between Broncos and Seahawks.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Super Bowl
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