Post-Super Bowl Human Trafficking Is An Issue In Our Community

Samantha Garcia/Staff Writer

The Super Bowl is an annual hallmark of American culture, bringing people from all cultures, backgrounds and socio-economic perspectives together to share their passion for sports.

However, this event also serves to remind us of the crime and problems within our society.

The business of human trafficking is the practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation. This practice peaks before, during and after the Super Bowl. 

Thousands of tourists flooding Miami offer pimps the opportunity to take, transport and sell men, women and children. While everyone is entertained by the game—drunk after handstanding on a keg or busy socializing—predators, pimps and kidnappers are working to force innocent people into their business. After the Super Bowl, the criminals transport the victims from motel to motel finding buyers.

Living in Miami presents many dangers for young men and women. Calle Ocho cages countless victims that are forced into this lifestyle with their hourly-rate motels.

Human trafficking thrives in our city and nobody seems to do anything about it.

Our U.S Congress passed a law that makes animal cruelty a federal crime. We work to make sure our animals are not maltreated or neglected, but what about our children? What about America’s children? The children who are robbed of their childhood, kidnapped, beaten, and sold into slave work matter too. However, this problem persists and our government is simply not doing enough to stop it.

The first step to solving this problem is becoming aware of how prevalent it is in our own community. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office released a report that ranks Florida as top third nationwide in human trafficking cases. It specifies that Miami-Dade County is the largest and most popular trafficking nuclei in the state of Florida.

Miami is home to the most culturally diverse communities. Our foundations stem from the diversity of multiple minority groups and come together and become the majority. 

Unfortunately for us, minorities are the least likely to be searched for after being reported missing. This circumstance may be due to the lack of financial resources to conduct investigations or the lengthy criminal justice system, but regardless, the odds are not in our favor. 

It is imperative that everyone is constantly aware of their surroundings and on their game. Another crucial practice that must become prevalent in our communities in order to combat human trafficking is speaking when one sees something out of the ordinary.

When you’re walking back to your car, make sure you throw quick glances to examine your surroundings. When you are at an event, don’t put your drink down, behind your back or out of sight. Always have a plan B when you enter a room so you’re able to find an exit. Think about investing in self-defense classes or purchasing pepper-spray. (Make sure to test it far away from your body.) And finally, always walk with a buddy.

This nerve-wracking reality takes place underneath our noses every day. Stay safe and remember, if you see something, say something. 

Image by Phillip Pessar on Flickr

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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