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Human Trafficking at the Super Bowl

February 4, 2011

By Sister Emily D.

The Super Bowl has been highlighted around the world for 45 years – flashing signs, best commercial, seats at a cost of $2,700-17,500 a person. Then we have motels and hotels available for men who sexually abuse, for their own pleasure, young girls and woman. It is labeled human trafficking.

The members of the Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC) in Texas sent letters to the hospitality industry near the Super Bowl site, expressing hopes for preventing human trafficking at this weekend’s Super Bowl. Volunteer like me then followed up with phone calls, asking if employees are trained and if they are working with police, child welfare agencies, anti-trafficking organization and theNational Human Trafficking Resources Center.

I called from my home in Iowa to a couple of motels in the Arlington area and asked the above questions. The general managers I spoke with each had received a letter from SRIC about the concerns around human trafficking and, while reserved and even a bit short, they seemed to be responding to the request.

The next week I did a follow-up and learned that my home area of Clear Lake – Mason City, Iowa, with Interstate 35 down between the two, is one of the main arteries for human trafficking, running from Minneapolis to Des Moines, Kansas City, Wichita and, eventually, Dallas, along with the Avenue of the Saints from Minneapolis to St Louis crossing over Interstate 80.

After discovering I am located along one of the main arteries, I began calling here and a few motel managers were interested and wanted the National Human Trafficking Resource number while a couple of them sounded almost puzzled, “like I have never heard of this before.”

My heart reaches out to the victims of human trafficking and their families. In 2010, it is said that the annual trade for traffickers amounted to $32 billion. I would like to suggest to those watching the Super Bowl that they take a five-minute pause at half time to pray for these individuals and families.

I am grateful to Reg Mckillip, OP, and Susan Mika, OSB (Socially Responsible Investment Coalition) and Christian Brothers Investment Services for giving me pertinent information.

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