Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) shed light on the issue of sex-trafficking during sports events such as the Super Bowl in a House hearing on Monday.
According to Smith, beyond the bright lights of this week's Super Bowl parties in New Jersey and New York, sex trafficking will flourish in the shadows.
“In less than a week, New Jersey will be hosting the Super Bowl, and along with welcoming enthusiastic fans, the state also is preparing for a likely influx of both domestic and international traffickers,” Smith, co-chairman of the House of anti-human trafficking caucus, said.
“We know from the past, any sports venue — especially the Super Bowl — acts as a sex-trafficking magnet.”
In the three-hour hearing, the legislative body as well as many advocacy groups focused the spotlight on sex trafficking during major national and international sporting events.
Smith cited statistics from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children claiming that around 10,000 girls and women were involved in trafficking during the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami.
According to MailOnline, a handful of anti-trafficking groups dispute such statistics as wildly exaggerrated. Several advocates said they have been exerting the best of their efforts in making sure women and children are not exploited in the days leading up the 2014 Super Bowl.
“When people come to these games, they come for the game, but they also come for the party and the good time, and this is how some people define a good time,” shared New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking representative, Melanie Gorelick.
Training sessions have been held over the previous months to provide transportation and hotel workers in New York and New Jersey tools for spotting possible trafficking victims, advocates confirmed.