A little known dark side of the Super Bowl is that events of this scale are prime targets for those who traffick in humans.
The Vincentian Family has been involved in combatting not just this aspect but all aspects of human trafficking.
See previous coverage of these efforts in FamVin.
The Catholic News Agency writes… “Just days before Super Bowl XLIX, the U.S. House of Representatives is pushing for a bipartisan crack-down on the hidden menace of sex trafficking, which some human rights advocates refer to as “modern-day slavery.”
“Everyone needs to be put on notice: if you buy or sell an individual like a commodity, the law is coming after you, and you can get up to life imprisonment, according to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act,” announced Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) on Tuesday at the bipartisan End Human Trafficking Press Conference on Capitol Hill.
Smith referenced the upcoming Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on Feb. 1 as the center of the next big push to curb sex trafficking. Large sporting events like the Super Bowl and the World Cup have become notorious dens of human sex trafficking with large crowds descending on one city for a short period of time.
“Hopefully the Super Bowl will not see what we’ve seen in previous Super Bowls, and that is the massive exploitation of women,” he stated.
Pope Francis highlights in Evangelii Gaudium that human trafficking affects everyone.
CNA continues… The first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking is in less than two weeks – February 8, the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita. Just this past year, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace with the International Union of Superiors General at the Vatican determined that the Day of Prayer and Awareness would be global.
St. Josephine Bakhita was herself a victim of slavery in the 19th century. After she was freed, she entered the Canossian Daughters of Charity where she served the poor and shared her own story of slavery.
“It’s awe-inspiring to think that Catholics from so many different countries will gather together on the same day to pray for the same cause,” stated the executive director of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration and Refugee Services, Ambassador Johnny Young.