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Human Trafficking at the Super Bowl

Human Trafficking at the Super Bowl

As New Jersey prepares for next week’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, Bishop Mark Beckwith of the Diocese of Newark reflects on the Super Bowl as a hub of human trafficking. Bishop Beckwith also highlights what religious communities are doing in partnership with law enforcement to educate and prevent sexual exploitation:

The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking has been at work for months to minimize the surprise of human trafficking, by educating the public on a reality that could reach into every North Jersey community.

They have trained hundreds of volunteers to place soap, inscribed with emergency phone numbers that offer opportunities for escape, in hotel bathrooms and are alerting hotel staff to the possibility of trafficking in their establishment — and what they might do to respond.

Local police have been partnering with the coalition and with religious communities to shine a light on this life-denying darkness. Many congregations in our diocese have been involved in the training, and our annual diocesan convention this weekend is featuring workshops and presentations on human trafficking.

The Star-Ledger has the full story.


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Packets of soap? Gah, just had a 12 Years a Slave flashback. Rather appropriately.

JC Fisher

Elizabeth Kaeton

I’m glad that someone is doing something to provide opportunities for escape, but letting EVERYONE know that there are packets of soap with emergency phone numbers just alerts the johns and the pimp/owners to remove the packets of soap. Why not, just for the weekend, have the hotel put up signs in the bathroom with the emergency numbers – right out in the open for the johns and the woman to see?

Shining a light on human trafficking is very important. Police teaming with churches is wonderful. But, in my experience, we’ve got to be a whole lot smarter to extinguish these cockroaches. Human trafficking is highly financially lucrative. Yes, we’ve got to make sure there is a human being on the other end of that phone number who is willing to take the risk to rescue the person held in bondage, but we’ve also got to hit those who “own” the person they traffic with heavy fines and long jail sentences.

It’s going to take a whole lot of work to rid ourselves of this scourge. This is a great beginning.

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