• Film Club hosts their annual movie marathon Feb. 24 starting at 10 a.m. in Bigelow.

  • USC Blood Drive, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Feb. 22.

  • Senior Speeches on Feb. 23: Libby Woodson, Arib Rahman, Ezra Cohen, and Ben Konstan

The Rubicon

Sex trafficking diligence a must in Minnesota

The Super Bowl may bring increased awareness, but this is always a concern.

Know+what+to+look+for%2C+and+how+to+get+help.+With+an+increase+in+visitors+to+the+state%2C+there+must+be+an+increased+vigilance.
Know what to look for, and how to get help. With an increase in visitors to the state, there must be an increased vigilance.

Know what to look for, and how to get help. With an increase in visitors to the state, there must be an increased vigilance.

Fair Use: MN Girls Are Not For Sale

Fair Use: MN Girls Are Not For Sale

Know what to look for, and how to get help. With an increase in visitors to the state, there must be an increased vigilance.

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The Super Bowl may bring to mind images of parties, chicken wings, and the halftime show, but it also hides a cruel alternate side – the Super Bowl provides an easy venue for sex trafficking.

Although there is no significant increase in trafficking seen yet, any event that brings a large concentration of people to one area creates a higher demand for sex trafficking in that area, and the Super Bowl is expected to bring an estimated 1 million people to Minneapolis.

This would be concerning even if sex trafficking wasn’t normally a concern in Minnesota – but it is. According to dosomething.org, there are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today. About half of those slaves are children, and 80% of human trafficking results in forced sexual exploitation. Furthermore, it’s estimated that 45 girls under the age of 18 are sold for sex on any given weekend. According to Minnesota Public Radio, the FBI has identified the Twin Cities as one of the largest centers for child sex trafficking in the U.S.

Any large event temporarily increases sex trafficking in an area due to a temporary increase in population. However, with such a large influx of people, there is a concern that traffickers who come to an area for the Super Bowl may choose to stay once the event is over. According to ksat.com, officials say that this was the case in Houston after the 2004 Super Bowl, where there was a spike in sex trafficking that persisted even after the Super Bowl had ended.

Since it was announced that the Super Bowl would be taking place in Minneapolis, Hennepin County and Ramsey County have been partnering with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota – specifically the MN Girls Are Not For Sale campaign, which has been fighting sex trafficking in Minnesota since 2010 – to create a plan to decrease sex trafficking at this year’s Super Bowl. The goal is to not only create a model for the 2018 Super Bowl, but a plan that can be used for future events as well. According to the Star Tribune, the group has already put $1 million towards the cause, including billboards, a public education campaign, and working with transportation and hotel workers in the area to recognize signs of sex trafficking.

However, the Super Bowl is hardly the end of the fight against sex trafficking in Minnesota. On MN Girls Are Not For Sale’s page, they list their goals for how they want to use the “extra attention” brought by concerns for what the Super Bowl means for sex trafficking. To learn more about how to combat sex trafficking, visit MN Girls Are Not For Sale’s webpage.

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