Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of threat, use of force or other forms of coercion, for the purpose of exploitation.” Sex trafficking is particularly heinous: Young women are abducted and sold into an underworld network where they are forced to engage in sexual activity for no pay, and from which it is extremely difficult to escape.
There is evidence that human trafficking increases where major sporting events are held.
Exact numbers are hard to come by, as trafficking is an underreported crime, but host cities, law enforcement, and civil society are becoming increasingly more aware of it. They are promoting educational campaigns and strengthening laws against trafficking to send a strong message to traffickers: You are not welcome here. If we find you, you will be prosecuted. There is a message for trafficking victims as well: If we find you, you will not be arrested; you will be rescued.
In preparation for Super Bowl LXVI in Indianapolis, 11 congregations of Catholic women joined the fight against human trafficking in a unique way: They decided to use their investments as a means to address human trafficking with Indianapolis area hotels. These 11 congregations belong to CCRIM, the Coalition for Corporate Responsibility in Indiana and Michigan.
CCRIM members bought shares of stock in major hotel chains in order to address the issue of trafficking as shareholders with hotel corporate management, as well as with the local franchises in the Indianapolis area. As shareholders they have a stake in how the business is run, and they decided to work with the hotels to help them recognize and report any incidents of human trafficking.
The sisters set up a database of 220 hotels within a 50-mile radius of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. On January 5, the managers of these hotels received a fax from CCRIM that said, your shareholders want to know: Have your...