U.S. senators discussing human trafficking

I wrote two stories last month on human trafficking. Reader feedback I got — plus the high number of groups in the suburbs and in Philadelphia with their own anti-trafficking groups — suggests that a great many of you are interested in this topic.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, chaired by Delaware Democrat Tom Carper, is holding a hearing Monday (you can watch it right now online here

One of the witnesses who will testify Monday afternoon is John J. Farmer, Jr., senior vice president and university counsel for Rutgers University. I thought you might be interested in part of his testimony, already posted on the committee’s website, that refers to the 2014 Super Bowl that New Jersey soon will host.

Here’s what Farmer has to say:

“The highest profile short-term threat — and a real test of the new laws and structure of our anti-trafficking efforts — will come with the festivities that will envelop New Jersey and New York surrounding the 2014 Super Bowl. Although the numbers are debated, experience has demonstrated that high-profile events like the Super Bowl attract an upsurge in human trafficking incidents.

“One woman, who was enslaved as a child and now works to eradicate child prostitution, estimated that she would be expected to have sex with over 20 people per day during Super Bowl weeks. Considering the most effective ways to prepare for the Super Bowl will be a good way to talk about next steps in combating human trafficking generally. …

“Hotel workers, for instance, if properly trained to look for the signature conduct of human trafficking, might be in the best position of all to report criminal activity. In New Jersey, training in human trafficking is in fact being extended to the hospitality industries in anticipation of the Super Bowl. This kind of training should occur nationwide.”

For more information on the Montgomery County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition, e-mail: mcantihumantraffickingco@gmail.com