A coalition of Roman Catholic nuns has joined city officials in Indianapolis in training hotel employees, cab drivers and security officers to identify possible victims of sex trafficking online, in hotel lobbies and sports bars during Super Bowl weekend, WKYC-TV reported.
“The Super Bowl – or any large sports game – always draws traffickers and they bring the product line because there are a lot of men that are used to buying commercial sex around these events,” Linda Smith, the president and founder of anti-human trafficking organization Shared Hope International, told Fox News. “Unfortunately, it draws minors as a product line. People bring in kids.”
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said there were 133 underage arrests for prostitution during 2011’s Super Bowl weekend in Dallas and estimates that 10,000 prostitutes were brought to the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami, according to Forbes Magazine.
Shared Hope International, working with the American Center for Law & Justice, recently gave Indiana, host of the Indianapolis 500 and NCAA Final Four events each year, a ‘D’ grade for its laws against human trafficking, Fox News reported.
Spurred on by the bad review, state officials fast-tracked a piece of legislation that strengthened Indiana's sex trafficking laws, Fox News reported. Indiana law now prohibits any person from arranging for another person to participate in any forced sexual act and makes it easier to prosecute traffickers who sell children. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels on Jan. 30, Fox News reported.
The nuns told WKYC that they had talked to the managers of 220 hotels within 50-miles of Indianapolis about how to spot sex trafficking.
"No one wants human trafficking in their town," Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Ann Oestreich said in a statement. "These activities happen in the dark. What we are attempting to do is to shine a light on sex trafficking and reduce opportunities for it to happen."
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