Police in New Jersey are stepping up their law enforcement efforts against prostitution, hoping to crack down on human trafficking in time for next month's Super Bowl.
The Associated Press reported that sex trafficking is of especial concern. The game attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, and it's located right near a massive highway system that leads to New York City.
"New Jersey has a huge trafficking problem," said Rep. Chris Smith, who also co-chairs the House anti-human trafficking caucus, in the AP report. "One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks."
Law enforcement officers in the state have fought back for years against the onslaught of forced prostitution. Now, they have several stronger anti-human trafficking laws at their disposal to aid their efforts — but in August, a judge ruled that one portion of one law that bans commercial sex advertisements from being posted online is in conflict with federal law.
The state is appealing that ruling, AP said.
Meanwhile, activists vow to be alert at this Feb. 2 game.
"The Super Bowl is a huge, huge arena for sex trafficking," said Danielle Douglas, an activist who said she was a sex trafficking survivor, in the AP report. "[Some] are coming to the Super Bowl not even to watch football. They are coming to the Super Bowl to have sex with women, and/or men or children."
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