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Miami Authorities and Hotels Crack Down on Trafficking Ahead of Super Bowl LIV Weekend

The Associated Press also reports that authorities say Miami-Dade County ranks first in sex trafficking in Florida, which in turn ranks third in the nation.

By January 23, 2020No Comments

It’s no secret that large events that bring thousands of people together from all over, like the Super Bowl, have long been a hub for trafficking and sexual exploitation.

As the Miami Herald explains, “celebratory events occurring over prolonged periods, such as the Super Bowl, present an opportunity for criminals to engage in many illicit activities, including human trafficking.”

For Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida, the trafficking situation is—unfortunately—no different than any other year.

But the city is finding ways to fight back and be proactive against this exploitation.

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Federal and local efforts to curb trafficking in Miami

To prepare for professional football’s biggest weekend, the hotel industry convened an anti-trafficking summit at a resort in Miami Beach and trained employees how to recognize and report criminal behavior.

Related: 85 Arrested In Florida Human Trafficking Sting

At this “No Room for Trafficking” conference, hosted at resort in Miami, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said that hotel workers and ride-hailing service drivers and security personnel are those most likely to encounter the victims and perpetrators of trafficking—and would be able to provide authorities with tips and evidence of the crime taking place.

“We’re enlisting people to help law enforcement,” said Moody at the conference, who chairs a statewide task force on human trafficking. “Most of the cases begin with anonymous tips. That’s how we’ll catch these guys.”

The hospitality industry is up for the task, reports NBC Miami. Cecil Staton, president and CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, said it’s bad business for people who run hotels to allow human trafficking.

“No honest hotelier wants human trafficking on their property. We are all about collaboration,” Staton said.

Related: Hotels, Motels, And Transit: How Workers In These Industries Are Cracking Down On Sex Trafficking

Also, according to a Sun Sentinal report, federal and local law enforcement officials launched an initiative aimed at raising awareness of what human trafficking looks like and attempting to enlist regular people to report suspected sex trafficking activity, which often involves children as young as 12. Ads will appear on buses, in social media, on billboards, at mass transit stations and many other places warning would-be sex buyers that many sex sellers are trafficked individuals.

Image retrieved from KDKA Radio

Miami is the number one Florida trafficking hotspot

The Associated Press also reports that authorities say Miami-Dade County ranks first in sex trafficking in Florida, which in turn ranks third in the nation. About 40% of victims are children and most of the rest are young adults between 18 and 23 years old.

Federal statistics show that some victims are sold for sex up to 20 times a day. A trafficker can make between $150,000 and $200,000 a year for each person they sell for sex.

Related: How Airbnb’s Relaxed Policies Might Allow For Trafficking On Hosts’ Properties

Kathy Andersen, executive director of The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade, said sex trafficking is a chronic problem that the Super Bowl helps bring to greater attention.

“The Super Bowl does one thing for us—it gives us a platform to make noise,” she said. “This is just the start of it.”

The office of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle operates a hotline for tips and reports about human trafficking: 305-FIX-STOP or 305-349-7867. Also, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 for other tips.

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The connection between porn and sex trafficking

This is why we exist to stop the demand for sexual exploitation and raise awareness on its connection to pornography.

It may surprise you to learn that one of the biggest humanitarian crises the world is dealing with today is trafficking, and more specifically, sex trafficking. And when sex trafficking and porn are placed side by side, the common thought is that they are miles apart. However, all it takes is a look at the research and survivor stories to give us a much different conclusion.

Related: Pornhub Reportedly Profits From Nonconsensual Videos And Real Rape Tapes—Here Are The Latest Examples

Part of our campaign to raise awareness on the harmful effects of porn includes shining a bright spotlight on porn’s relationship with human trafficking. But how could this be true? Because, thanks to an increasing number of survivor stories and studies on the connection, we see:

  • Porn, oftentimes, is recorded evidence of sex trafficking.
  • Porn directly fuels the demand for exploitation and sex trafficking.

For an average porn consumer, there is no way to know where their pornography came from and if the actors are performing willingly. Click here to learn more about how porn and sex trafficking are intimately linked.

Related: Phil’s Story: I Bought Sex From A Woman While On Vacation, Not Realizing She Was A Trafficking Victim

No matter how good or “fun” something in the adult entertainment world looks, they may not be there by choice.

So by clicking pornography, consumers are supporting the demand for an industry that is deeply connected with sex trafficking. The two are interconnected, and contribute to serious crimes against humans and society.