Taking a Stand Against Human Trafficking
We are proud to be an official partner of It’s A Penalty, who today launched their 2019 Super Bowl LIII campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking worldwide. The campaign harnesses the power of sport to not only highlight the global problems of exploitation and trafficking of vulnerable people, but also the specific dangers of them being trafficked and exploited during major sporting events.
The trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people is of huge global concern, with current figures showing that, worldwide, 24.9 million globally are being trafficked for labor and forced into sexual exploitation – the majority of which are female. Closer to the Super Bowl home, 7,200 men in Georgia purchase sex from a minor every month, accounting for over 8,000 sex acts (YouthSpark). Furthermore, according to the Urban Institute, Atlanta has the largest underground commercial sex economy out of 14 urban cities.
As the Super Bowl in Atlanta is one of the most high-profile events in 2019, we are encouraging fans to “Learn Something, See Something, Do Something” and help report potential incidents of abuse and exploitation.
The 2019 campaign is also supported by several renowned NFL players including Aaron Rodgers, Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan, Benjamin Watson and Roddy White as well as USA soccer player, Brad Guzan – all of whom feature in a 30 second film which will be shown in-flight by American Airlines and British Airways leading up to the Super Bowl.
Additionally, 8,000 taxi drivers are being trained by Human Traffick Proof The ATL to learn how to identify and report human trafficking and exploitation. It’s a Penalty will provide car mirror accessories with the Polaris’ National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Further campaign materials, all featuring the faces of athletes, will be distributed by volunteers in venues, hotels, taxis and at events in the lead up to the Super Bowl. Each piece of material will alert readers to the signs of trafficking and exploitation and offer the Polaris hotline (1(888) 373-888) and text line (233733) numbers to report anything suspicious.
Through awareness-raising campaigns, It’s a Penalty and its partners have previously helped facilitate the protection of over 16,300 victims of exploitation during the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics & Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. There were 11,252 calls reporting child abuse and exploitation during the 2014 Football World cup alone with 87 foreign arrests. The It’s a Penalty campaign has now reached and impacted over 960 million people worldwide. In 2018, the It’s a Penalty campaign incorporated four global sporting events: the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, the HSBC/ Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia reaching over 455 million people.
The long-term objective of It’s a Penalty is to achieve systemic change in order to protect children and vulnerable people on a global scale and to equip people with the appropriate reporting mechanisms, regardless of where they are. To achieve this goal, they are advocating for the global enactment and implementation of extraterritorial legislation against child sexual exploitation, which will allow countries to prosecute their citizens for the abuse of children abroad.
To find out more about the charity campaign, the difference being made or to donate please visit www.itsapenalty.org