Dallas TV News show about super bowl sex slave myth:
Super Bowl Sex Trafficking Claims proven false:
Official Reports of the Super bowl sex slave myth at the Germany World Cup 2006
Research report on sorting out the myths and facts about sex trafficking at sporting events:
The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) :
Posted on January 31, 2011 at 10:52 PM
Updated Tuesday, Feb 1 at 1:55 PM
But News 8 has learned there is no evidence supporting such claims.
Graves is among those warning of an alarming increase in underage girls sold for sex during the Super Bowl.”Traffickers follow the money, and there’s a whole lot of money that comes with the Super Bowl,” she said.
“The Super Bowl is, unfortunately, a major draw for human trafficking,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said during a news conference on the topic at Dallas Police headquarters recently.Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott gave reporters similar warnings in Arlington.
And last year, Miami police told News 8 they arrested 14 for prostitution.
Those figures are not uncommon for large cities during a seven-day period, experts said.
Last year, Canada debunked similar hype about prostitutes around the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. British Columbia funded a study which concluded that “sex trafficking and mega-events are not linked.”
A European group called The International Organization for Migration arrived at the same conclusion in Germany after rumors that 40,000 prostitutes would go to the 2006 World Cup. The estimations are “unfounded and unrealistic,” the IOM reported.
Ernie Allen, director for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said he was misquoted last year when predicting 10,000 prostitutes would show up in Miami for Super Bowl XLIV.
Allen said the Super Bowl likely doesn’t attract more sex traffickers than any other large event. What’s more, he also conceded there is no way to quantify the problem.
Still, he and Graves both said the issue is under-recognized and under-reported.
“Sometimes when numbers are very high, people think it’s hopeless and they may not even try to address the issue,” said Becky Sykes of the Dallas Women’s Foundation.
The organization has commissioned a study to research Internet ads and escort services during February. It’s specifically looking for underage girls as prostitutes and hoping — for the first time — to see whether the Super Bowl really increases sex trafficking in the host city.
Critics blame some women’s groups for the prostitution myth as they try to raise awareness without facts.
No one disputes that trafficking is a serious and sickening problem, but whether the Super Bowl intensifies it is a prediction no one can yet prove.
Research report on sorting out the myths and facts about sex trafficking at sporting events:
The Super Bowl Prostitute Myth: 100,000 Hookers Won’t Be Showing Up in Dallas
By Pete Kotz: From the Dallas Observer newspaper
published: January 27, 2011
The alarm bells reached peak decibel in November, when Dallas Police Sergeant Louis Felini told the The Dallas Morning News that between 50,000 and 100,000 prostitutes could descend on the metroplex for the Super Bowl. The call to outrage had sounded.
His estimate was astonishing. At the higher figure, it meant that every man, woman and child holding a ticket would have their own personal hooker, from the vice presidential wing of FedEx to Little Timmy from Green Bay.
And if you believed a study commissioned by the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the hordes would include 38,000 underage prostitutes. Doe-eyed beauties from the Heartland would be peddled like Jell-O shots at the Delta Phi soiree.
Official Dallas would not be caught flat-footed. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and the FBI pledged extra manpower to fight “human trafficking.” The Arlington Police Department put up billboards near Cowboys Stadium. They featured flashing photos of busted johns, warning visitors: We don’t take kindly to perverts like you, son.
Even the Shapiro Law Firm leaped in. Noting that an estimated 40,000 hookers showed up in Dallas for the NBA All-Star game last year, it wanted to make sure that, should a hedge fund manager find himself ensnared in naked compromise, “our attorneys provide experienced defense for sex crimes, including the solicitation of a prostitute.”
The city was gearing up for a massive invasion of skanks and sex fiends. It would be like Normandy, only with way more plastic surgery—the largest single gathering of freaks and pedophiles the world has ever seen. At least outside of a Vatican staff meeting.
But if Dallas is like any other Super Bowl—or Olympics or World Cup, for that matter—today’s four-alarm panic will tinkle as softly as a servant’s bell by next week. All evidence says that America’s call girls will be at home, watching the game of TV, just like you and me.
Judging by Super Bowls past, the mass migration of teenage sex slaves is nothing more than myth.
Read between his very terse lines, and you can tell that Brian McCarthy isn’t happy. He’s a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he’s forced to hear from mopes like yours truly, wondering why his customers are adulterers and child molesters.
The routine is the same in every Super Bowl city. The media beats the drum of impending invasion, warning that anywhere from 15,000 to 100,000 hookers will soon arrive. Politicians lather on their special sauce of manufactured outrage. Cops and prosecutors vow stings and beefed up manpower.
By implication, the NFL’s wealthiest and most connected fans—captains of industry and senators from Utah—will be plotting a week of sexual rampage not seen since the Vikings sailed on Scotland. And they must be stopped.
“This is urban legend that is pure pulp fiction,” the NFL’s McCarthy says. “I would refer you to your local law enforcement officials.”
So that’s what we did. Meet police Sergeant Tommy Thompson of Phoenix, which hosted the 2008 Super Bowl. “We may have had certain precincts that were going gangbusters looking for prostitutes, but they were picking up your everyday street prostitutes,” Thompson says of his vice cops. “They didn’t notice any sort of glitch in the number of prostitution arrests leading up to the Super Bowl.”
Conspicuously noted: He doesn’t recall a single arrest of an underage girl.
Perhaps Phoenix was an anomaly. So let’s go to Tampa, host of Super Bowl 2009. Police spokeswoman Andrea Davis says her department ran special operations on the sex trade. They came up empty. “We didn’t see a huge influx in prostitutes coming into Tampa,” she says. “The arrests were not a lot higher. They were almost the same.”
Now it could be that both departments are incompetent, mistaking tens of thousands of women in fishnet stockings for a very large synchronized swimming team. So let’s travel to Europe, where the hooker influx for the World Cup is routinely pegged at 40,000. If anyone’s going to break the record for the world’s largest orgy, it’s the Godless Eurotrash, right?
Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup. U.S congressmen warned the promiscuous Krauts that fleshly opportunism would not be tolerated. So the government spent millions of euros to crush human trafficking. No one could say the Germans were perv enablers.
But apparently 39,995 of the blasphemers had carburetor trouble in Prague and never showed. The final Cup tally for forced prostitution arrests: 5. German brothels couldn’t even report a surge in business. And a further study by the Swedish government ruled “the 40,000 estimate was unfounded and unrealistic.”
There don’t appear to be solid figures for last summer’s South African Cup, but anecdotal evidence says the sex business was slow.
The only concrete numbers we have: Museums showed record attendance.
This isn’t to say that the sex trade isn’t alive and well. It is. Nor is it to imply there are no such thing as teen prostitutes. There are. The problem is that most of what we believe remains fixed in a blaxploitation film from 1973, where menacing pimps named Lester beat their weeping charges with diamond-encrusted canes.
Ask Maggie McNeill.
That’s not her real name. It’s the pen name she uses on her website, The Honest Courtesan, where she dispenses wisdom on all things hooker. She ran an escort service in New Orleans for six years, supplying ladies for the 2002 Super Bowl. As she sees it, almost all we believe about the industry is fallacy.
“Pimps do exist,” she says, “but they’re a relatively rare phenomenon.” The vast majority of hookers are willing, independent contractors.
Underage hookers are also “extremely rare,” McNeill says. Over the years, she fielded a few hundred applications from ladies of the eve. Only one didn’t pass a drivers license check.
Sure, there are exceptions. But McNeill doesn’t think huge numbers of hookers are going anywhere. And they won’t be heading to Dallas for a very simple reason: Sporting events suck for the sex trade.
The younger fans have already spent thousands on jacked-up hotel rates, airfare and scalped tickets, she says. They only have enough left to nurse Bud Lights and Jäger bombs.
The executive caste may have money to burn, but most bring their families along. “What do they say to their wives?” McNeill asks. “‘Hey honey, I’m going to see a hooker now?’”
As for McNeill’s experience during Super Bowl week in New Orleans: “I really saw no change whatsoever.”
So how do these myths get started? Through good intentions, of course.
There’s no way to quantify the number of hookers, since most women won’t admit to their profession. Public confession only brings an audit from the IRS or a visit from child welfare workers.
That leaves the outside world to speculate—usually with stats only appreciated after eight beers near closing time. Professors pitch junk studies whereby every runaway girl is a potential prostitute.
Advocacy groups take those numbers and fan them by the thousands, buffing them with lurid anecdotes of “sex slaves” and “victims of human trafficking.” The fervent simply can’t believe that isolated cases are just that: isolated.
But it’s hard to kindle interest in the world’s oldest profession. So they latch onto the occasional news story or CNN special. After all, children in distress sell.
“Underage girls make better victims, better poster children,” says McNeill, a former librarian with a master’s from LSU. “I’m 44. What kind of believable victim would I make?”
The study by the Dallas Women’s Foundation shows how the numbers are baked. It hired a company to gauge the percentage of juvenile hookers in Dallas. Its scientific method: Look at online escort ads and guess the ages of the women pictured!
Never mind that escort services often yank said photos from the Internet to put their most sultry visual forward. And never mind that such methodology wouldn’t pass muster at Mert’s Discount Community College & Small Engine Repair.
The company still decreed that 38 percent of Dallas hookers were underage!
(Disclosure: The Dallas Observer and Backpage are owned by the same parent company, Village Voice Media Holdings.)
Not ones to miss 30 seconds of free air time, that’s when the politicians climb aboard. After all, what would you rather do? Be fitted for the role of child-rescuing hero at a congressional hearing or a press conference? Or sit down to the complex, painful task of addressing America’s age-old runaway problem?
Of course, we in the media are equally culpable. We dutifully relay the fraud via our Patented Brand of Unquestioning Stenography, rarely bothering to check if it’s remotely plausible. And by this time, there’s no going back. The fraud must be upheld. Charities have raised money to help the innocents. Politicians have brayed and task forces have been appointed. Editors and news directors have ordered five-part series. No one wants to look like a moron.
But the week after every Super Bowl, they all go quiet.
Either the 100,000 hookers never showed, or they were in dastardly possession of super invisible powers.
Maybe it will be different in Dallas, with its all-hands-on-deck vigilance. Perhaps next week’s dockets will be sagging with thousands of runaway middle-school volleyball stars. Perhaps the Shapiro Law Firm will be giving a bulk rate to the entire roster of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.
Super Bowl prostitution: 100,000 hookers didn’t show, but America’s latest political scam did.
Pete Kotz: From the Dallas Observer newspaper
published: March 03, 2011
Had elected officials done even the slightest research, they would have known it was myth. But this had little to do with protecting women and children. Think of it as a combination religious revival and political scam.
Politicians, women’s groups, cops and child advocates were predicting that up to 100,000 hookers would be shipped into Dallas for the Super Bowl. It would be akin to the invasion of Normandy—with silicone and come-hither poses at no extra charge.
Yet someone forgot to tell America’s prostitutes they had an appointment with destiny. The arrest numbers are now in. The hookers failed to show.
It was folly from the outset, of course. To buy the hype, you had to believe that the NFL’s wealthiest fans stuffed their carry-on luggage with searing libidinal hunger. Though by day they pretended to be mercantile saints from the pages of the Wall Street Journal, they were actually marauding sex fiends. Their plot: Turn Hilton hot tubs into naked versions of the New York Stock Exchange.
And if that wasn’t enough to scare the good citizens of Dallas, women’s groups slathered the plot with surplus outrage. Up to 38,000 of these hookers would be child sex slaves, according to a study by the Dallas Women’s Foundation. They’d presumably been kidnapped en masse while waiting in line at the mall Cinnabon, then shipped to Dallas for deflowering by venture capitalists and frozen-food barons.
America’s human trafficking epidemic was coming to North Texas. The Super Bowl would be ground zero.
Conveniently, the same people making the claims reserved the roles of hero for themselves. Worry not, good people of Dallas: They would repel the infidels at the city gates.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott puffed his chest and promised dozens of extra bodies. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security linked arms with 13 state and local police agencies in a task force. Even the airline industry leaped in, training flight attendants to spot the indentured.
Linda Smith, a former Washington congresswoman and founder of Shared Hope International, announced her date with gallantry in The Dallas Morning News. “Now that I know it, I have no choice but to stand and fight,” she said. “This is just brutal, brutal slavery of girls.”
Deena Graves, executive director of the Christian group Traffick911, took it even further, framing the clash as nothing short of Jesus vs. Depravity. God Himself had naturally anointed her as His general.
“We believe, without a doubt, that God gave us the Super Bowl this year to raise awareness of what’s happening with these kids,” she told the Morning News.
But since they hadn’t bothered to do the research, they would be forced to clash swords with an imaginary foe. Such is the burden of the selfless crusader.
From Germany to Miami, the same hysteria precedes every big sporting event, be it the Super Bowl, the World Cup, or the Olympics. The only difference is that Dallas, befitting its perch as buckle of the Bible Belt, jacked up the decibels.
Before every big game, church bells ring of a massive hooker invasion. Incurious newspapers parrot the claims;a five-minute Google search being too much trouble. Then politicians and activists climb aboard.
The recipe for civic panic is placed in the oven, set for baking to a charred husk.
Yet when each event ends with just a handful of arrests, police admit the invasion was nothing more than myth. The panic whimpers away to seclusion, only to resurrect itself just in time for the next big show.
Detectives from Dallas to Plano, Forth Worth to Irving saw no spikes in sex traffic or signs of the occupiers.
“Everybody else is talking about special operations, the AG comes in talking about special operations, but this is what we do,” says Sergeant Byron Fassett, head of the Dallas PD’s human trafficking unit. “We didn’t have to do a special operation. We do special operations all the time, and this was one of them.”
In other words, it was just another week of playing cat and mouse with the world’s oldest profession.
Arlington, host to the game, unleashed extra manpower and bagged an impressive 59 arrests. But it found scant evidence of erotic hordes. Of the 100,000 supposedly Lone Star-bound hookers, Deputy Chief Jaime Ayala says, only 13 were found by his guys. Their busts largely involved rousting the local talent.
ICE Spokesman Carl Rusnok says there were 105 prostitution arrests metro-wide. But what was billed as a bare-naked onslaught fell rather short. Just to reach three figures, ICE had to include 12 Class C misdemeanors—the legal equivalent of a speeding ticket.
Rusnok hints at more nefarious busts for human trafficking, but he refuses to provide names, charges or anything else that would allow for verification.
The 38,000 teen slaves also proved elusive. Police managed to find just two—and they were Texas-grown.
Anthony Winn, a 35-year-old degenerate from Austin, had been pimping out a 20-year-old woman when he decided to peddle her 14-year-old sister as well.
The trio showed up in Dallas for the big game. But the older sister objected to the selling of the younger one. So when Dallas police encountered them on the street, the women quickly ratted out Winn.
In Grapevine, another local was busted for chauffeuring a 17-year-old hooker on her rounds.
Meanwhile, church groups and activists were out en masse. But if they were truly aligned with God, He preferred they stick to generating headlines and hurling logs on the flames of panic. He apparently neglected to grant them the power of rescue. As far as anyone can tell, not one of their tips led to an arrest. Had anyone bothered to ask police in previous Super Bowl cities, they would have told you this would happen. There’s zero evidence that American hookers have ever traveled like Spanish armadas.
As for widespread sex slavery, this too is a myth. The U.S. government has known it for years.
Like most industrialized countries, the feds began worrying about human trafficking in the late ’90s, a fear born from the slavery problems of the Third World. At the time, evidence from police suggested it was an insidious, though relatively rare, crime. But that didn’t stop politicians and activists from declaring it a pandemic.
Out of thin air, they began to trumpet that 50,000 people were being forcibly trafficked in America each year. The
Clinton administration declared jihad. President George W. Bush dilated the war, creating 42 Justice Department task forces countrywide.
But when you weld a fabricated enemy, meager scalp counts leave boasting a challenge. Just like the soldiers of pre-Super Bowl Dallas, they had braced themselves for imaginary strife.
Six years into his presidency, Bush had burned through $150 million on the fray. But of the 300,000 supposed victims during that time, the Justice Department managed to find just 1,362. Less than half were actual sex slaves. An even smaller number were underage prostitutes.
That’s because human trafficking, as defined by the government, isn’t solely about sex. It’s usually about forced labor. Think of the Chinese man made to work in a kitchen to reimburse a snakehead’s smuggling fee. Or the Mexican kid forced to toil on a Kansas farm.
By the time anyone realized all that money was flowing for naught, no one was brave enough to tighten the spigot. In Washington, it’s far better to waste millions than give the appearance you don’t care about kids.
Steve Wagner knows this. He worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, serving as director of the Human Trafficking Program under Bush. He threw millions of dollars at community groups to aid victims. Yet as he told the Washington Postin 2007, “Those funds were wasted….They were available to help victims. There weren’t any victims.”
Ten years into the war, one might assume intellectual honesty would sand down the rhetoric. But the opposite is happening. The fight’s simply moved away from protecting women and children. It’s now a holy war for the sanctity of revenue streams.
The church and women’s groups who profited from battle are loath to acknowledge they spent the past decade doing little more than polishing their guns. So forgive them for worrying.
Recession has made donations harder to field. D.C.’s coming austerity means grants will be macheted. That’s left the nonprofit world in a panic.
It isn’t easy to get donors and congressmen to slap down checks for the time-honored fight against prostitution, runaways and kids seeking the fascinating life of a crack head.
So women’s and children’s groups simply decided to change their PR. Suddenly, prostitution was no longer about prostitution. It was all about sexual slavery and human trafficking. And they began blowing up their numbers with helium.
But maybe Traffick911′s Deena Graves is right. Perhaps God has called her and others to fight demons unseen by the re st of us. It’s just that he hasn’t given them the power to find all those victims. He does work in mysterious ways, after all.
–With Reporting by Patrick Michels
Sex Traffficking in Sports Events:
Super Bowl 2011:
According to the media hype There was supposed to be hundreds of thousands of under age child sex slaves kidnapped and forced to have sex with super bowl fans. At the Dallas Super Bowl 2011. WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF THEM????????????
It was all a big lie told by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, government officials, and various anti-prostitution groups: Traffick911, Not for Sale, Change-org, A Future Not A Past, Polaris Project, Salvation Army, Women’s Funding Network, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation, which are anti-prostitution groups that tell lies in order to get grant money from the government and charities to pay their high salaries, and get huge amounts of money into their organizations.
As proved in the link below:
Top FBI agent in Dallas (Robert Casey Jr.) sees no evidence of expected spike in child sex trafficking:
“Among those preparations was an initiative to prevent an expected rise in sex trafficking and child prostitution surrounding the Super Bowl. But Robert Casey Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, said he saw no evidence that the increase would happen, nor that it did.
“In my opinion, the Super Bowl does not create a spike in those crimes,” he said. “The discussion gets very vague and general. People mixed up child prostitution with the term human trafficking, which are different things, and then there is just plain old prostitution.”
This myth of thousands or millions of underage sex slaves tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in.
Brian McCarthy isn’t happy. He’s a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he’s forced to hear why his customers are adulterers and child molesters. Brian McCarthy says the sport/super bowl sex slave story is a urban legend, with no truth at all.
The idea of people getting the wrong information and believing lies, is bad. No matter what the topic is. The Sex trafficking, slavery issue is one of the biggest lies being told today. It is amazing to me how people will believe such lies so easily. The media is to blame for this. I wonder why they feel such a need to report wrong stats, numbers and information about this topic without doing proper research.
While this may happen in very rare limited situations, the media will say that millions of people are sex slaves without doing any real research on the topic. Only taking the word of special interest anti-prostitution groups which need to generate money in the form of huge government grants from taxpayers, and charities. These “non profit” group’s employees make huge salaries, therefore they need to lobby the government, and inflate and invent victims in order to get more money into their organizations. If you look into how many real kidnapped forced against their will sex slaves there are, and not just take the anti-prostitution groups word for it. You will be very surprised.
Where are all the forced sex slaves? I would like to meet the millions of slaves and see for myself if they were kidnapped and forced against their will.
These groups lobby the government in a big way, getting Politicians to truly believe their lies. This is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations. As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.
I would like to see a news organization do a full report on the lies, myths and exaggerated numbers being told about sex trafficking slaves. The articles about the super bowl sex slaves, has been proved wrong many times, but news organizations still report about it, as if it were fact.
== World Cup 2006 ==
Politicians, religious and aid groups, still repeat the media story that 40,000 prostitutes were trafficked into Germany for the 2006 world cup – long after leaked police documents revealed there was no truth at all in the tale. A baseless claim of 25,000 trafficking victims is still being quoted, recently, for example, by the Salvation Army in written evidence to the home affairs select committee, in which they added: “Other studies done by media have suggested much higher numbers.” Which has been proven by the German police to be completely false. Yet people still talk about these false numbers as if it were fact.
==World Cup 2010 ==
Again using the made up number of 40,000 prostitutes trafficked:
The behavior of fans in South Africa has run contrary to what was predicted prior to the start of the tournament after David Bayever told World Cup organizers in March it was feared that up to 40,000 extra prostitutes could converge in the host nation to meet the expected demand. Bayever, deputy chairperson of South Africa’s Central Drug Authority (CDA) that advises on drug abuse but also works with prostitutes, warned: “Forty-thousand new prostitutes. As if we do not have enough people of our own, we have to import them to ensure our visitors are entertained.”
But the tournament in 2010, if anything, has seen the modern-day soccer fan attracted to art galleries and museums over brothels.
A trend that has seen a drop in revenue across the board for the prostitution industry, which is illegal in South Africa. “Zobwa,” the chairperson of Sisonke — an action group representing around 70 street prostitutes in Johannesburg — said business had been down over the last month. “The World Cup has been devastating. We thought it was going to be a cash cow but it’s chased a lot of the business away. It’s been the worst month in my company’s history,” the owner and founder of one of Johannesburg’s most exclusive escort companies told CNN.
In recent years, every time there has been a major international sporting event, a group of government officials, campaigning feminists, pliant journalists and NGOs have claimed that the movement of thousands of men to strange foreign countries where there will be lots of alcohol and horniness will result in the enslavement of women for the purposes of sexual pleasure. Obviously. And every time they have simply doubled the made-up scare figures from the last international sporting event, to make it look like this problem of sport/sex/slavery gets worse year on year. Yet each year it is proved false.
This myth tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in. These anti-prostitution groups need to in invent a victim that does not exist in order to get press attention.
The 2010 sex trade scare
Please be warned that a group of men are busy kidnapping girls from schools. They are specifically targeting schools with young girls ranging in age from nine and older.
This group of men kidnaps these girls with the intention of assisting prostitution for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
It first emerged in South Africa at the beginning of 2007 and exposed as a hoax by police. And then, in April last year, it was reported in the Press for the first time, where it was immediately debunked. The Herald newspaper carried the story on 23 April 2007, headlined:
Derrick Spies, Safety and Security Reporter, wrote:
TWO schools in Nelson Mandela Bay have warned parents that their children are at risk of being kidnapped and forced into the sex trade, after receiving warnings that syndicates were targeting children ahead of the 2010 soccer World Cup.
But security experts have played down the risk, and the police have described as a hoax a fax that was sent to schools under a police letterhead warning of possible kidnappings.
Letters addressed to parents have urged them to make their children aware of the dangers and be more vigilant, after the schools received an official police communication, warning of kidnapping syndicates targeting girls as young as nine to be enslaved and used to cater to the high demand for prostitution in 2010.
The warnings have their roots in the run up to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany, when the rumour surfaced that 400 000 women and children were set to be trafficked into Germany as forced sex workers.
According to Bruno Waterfield, writing in spike (a blog-like publication that campaigns against narrow-mindedness) once the World Cup had got under way in June 2006: “The horror-story claims about trafficking into Europe were first made in the European Parliament, by a German Green MEP Hiltrud Breyer, who also sits on the parliament’s women’s committee. Her Austrian socialist colleague Christa Prets then took up the issue in an announcement made on 14 December 2005, where she linked, for the first time it seems, an influx of prostitutes from Eastern European countries with Germany’s hosting of the World Cup.”
The rumour began to take flight on 22 February 2006, when an anti-prostitution campaign called “Red Card for Forced Prostitution” was launched in Germany. Deutsche Wellereported the launch on 23 February, under the headline:
… Publicity in all countries and announcements in the German media will seek to make the public aware of prostitution “as a form of modern slavery,” said Konrad Freiberg, president of the German police union (GdP), which has joined the campaign.
He said the demand for prostitutes would increase during the sporting event, which will attract millions of people to Germany.
Some 175,000 women are already involved in prostitution in the county, according to the German Protestant Church, which is also part of the awareness campaign.
Another 40,000 prostitutes, mainly from eastern Europe, could come to Germany during the soccer World Cup, several associations fighting prostitution estimate.
The tournament is to be held in Germany from June 9 to July 9, and the anti-prostitution campaign’s name refers to the red card given to soccer players for penalties forcing them to leave the pitch.
From the estimate of 40,000 prostitutes visiting Germany to ply their trade, the urban legend quickly transformed the prostitutes to 40,000 women being “trafficked” – essentially forced into sex work in another country by traffickers, but still keeping within the bounds of their profession.
The earliest authoritative use of the rumour was a Congressional hearing in the United States, held under the title of “Germany’s World Cup Brothels”. The event was reported on 5 May 2006 by Deutsche Welle, under the headline, US, Rights Groups Blast Germany Over “World Cup Brothels”.
It was a United States Congressman, no less, who got the ball rolling:
A US lawmaker and rights groups have accused Germany of doing little to prevent the exploitation of women during the World Cup, with one expert calling Berlin an official “pimp” for the event.
“While the winner of the World Cup remains unknown, the clear losers will be the thousands of women and children trafficked and sold in Germanys legal sex industry to accommodate the huge influx of demand experts anticipate will be generated by male fans attending the games,” said Christopher Smith, the Republican chairman of a human rights panel in the US House of Representatives.
Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 and some 400,000 work in the sex trade, according to various estimates.
Traffickers plan to bring in some 40,000 additional “sex workers” to “service” fans during the month-long soccer event that begins June 9, according to Smith and rights advocates who testified Thursday at a congressional hearing entitled “Germany’s World Cup Brothels.”
Some of the 12 cities that will host the soccer championship are also reportedly planning mobile brothels and condom distribution to meet the demand for sex during the month-long event.
In the next step up the urban legend chain, the trafficked sex workers were then transformed by the BBC into women forced into sex work and smuggled into Germany.
BBC News carried the rumour on 15 May 2006 between the lines of a broader story on legalised prostitution in Germany, entitled German brothel welcomes World Cup. It said there were “fears that with millions of football fans expected in Germany during the World Cup, there will be a greater demand for prostitutes”.
The story quoted Henny Engels from the German Women’s Council as saying: “We’re worried that more women will be smuggled into Germany from Eastern Europe and they may be forced into working in the sex industry.”
The report then added: “According to some estimates, up to 40,000 women could be forced into prostitution during the tournament, but there are no official figures.”
The reason there were no official figures is that the threat was still a mere rumour. However, according to Julie Bindel, writing in the Guardian on 30 May 2006, the number came from the international feminist organisation Coalition Against Trafficking in Women(CATW). It had launched a worldwide campaign to protest against Germany’s promotion and public display of prostitution during the World Cup. Bindel reported that entrepreneurs were investing heavily in brothels, with one site in Berlin geared towards entertaining 650 men at the same time.
“The organisation is worried that an estimated 40,000 women will be ‘imported’ into Germany from Africa, Asia and central and eastern Europe,” wrote Bindel. She then added, in parentheses: “(This figure is based on the number of women needed to fill the additional brothels being set up.)”
A week later, on 6 June, The Times ran a story entitled Germany warned over World Cup sex trade. The New York Times carried a similar story the previous day, but delving deeper into the nuances of the report. The Times had no such qualms. It included the following gems:
The United States has warned Germany that it must do more to stop an expected tide of sex trafficking for sexual exploitation during the football World Cup.
Thousands of foreign women, many from Eastern Europe, will engage in sex work in Germany during the four-week tournament that begins on Friday, according to some estimates.
The US called Germany a “source, transit and destination country” for sex workers and other exploited people.
The 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US State Department did note German efforts to combat exploitation during the World Cup.
The 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report is available online. It does include Germany, but among a long list of country reports. As far as the World Cup was concerned, it carried only the following paragraph in a 295-page report:
The upcoming World Cup Soccer championship has generated widespread concern among some NGOs and governments over the potential for increased human trafficking in Germany surrounding the games. German federal and state governments report that they have taken steps to prevent trafficking during the championship by improving victim-screening mechanisms and police safeguards, sponsoring seminars, expanding print and video outreach, and strengthening inter-agency coordination. The federal government has partnered with NGOs and the German Soccer Association to launch a number of trafficking awareness campaigns. Other NGOs, several with government funding, are also conducting prevention and demand-reduction programs. Nevertheless, due to the sheer size of the event, the potential for increased human trafficking surrounding the games remains a concern.
A big difference between a warning by one Government to another, and an issue being “a concern”!
The big question is: what happened next? Were women and children forced across the border to do the bidding of loutish soccer fans?
A near-complete version of the truth finally emerged on 27 February 2007, when Bruno Waterfield published the results of his investigation in spike. His report was titled Exposed: the myth of the World Cup ‘sex slaves’. Waterfield’s lengthy report ran, in part:
It was widely claimed that 40,000 women would be trafficked into Germany as prostitutes during the 2006 World Cup. New EU reports seen by spiked suggest that nothing of the sort happened.
Last summer, lurid headlines claimed that 40,000 women would be smuggled by sex slavers into Germany to be prostituted to World Cup football fans. The truth is very different indeed. Newly unrestricted European Union documents reveal that the German police uncovered just five cases of ‘human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation’ related to the international football tournament.
Despite a huge ‘awareness-raising’ campaign, the setting up of telephone hotlines run by non-governmental organisations, and extra police checks on Germany’s borders, the prostitution scare stories, boosted by an unholy alliance of European left-wingers, feminists, police officers, Christians, the American right and US President George W Bush, have turned out to be pure fiction.
… The reports – Council of the European Union documents 5006/1/07 and 5008/7 – are now available and they reveal a huge magnitude of error in the claims made by campaigners that were splashed across media headlines around the world. The five cases are 8,000 times less than the 40,000 predicted.
‘The increase in forced prostitution and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation during the 2006 World Cup in Germany which was feared by some did not materialise’, concludes one report. ‘There was no sign whatsoever of the alleged 40,000 prostitutes/forced prostitutes – a figure repeatedly reported, also in international media – who were to be brought to Germany for the 2006 World Cup.’
German police officers and border guards stepped up operations in the run-up to and during the World Cup, but the huge effort failed to find the pimps, or their victims, said to be swarming across Europe’s frontiers.
‘Of the 33 investigation cases reported to the Federal Criminal Police Office on the grounds of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and/or the promotion of human trafficking, and which took place at the time of the 2006 World Cup, only five cases were assumed to have a direct link to the 2006 World Cup’, concludes the report.
… Government-funded telephone hotlines seeking to support ‘victims who are looking for help but shy away from contacting the police’ might here have shown the extent of forced prostitution in Germany’s mega-brothels. However, the helplines, which were widely promoted by fliers, posters and media coverage, with the strident support of the National Council of German Women’s Organisations, failed to uncover a problem commensurate with the levels of hysteria and outrage – and no cases of alleged forced prostitution linked to the World Cup were reported to these hotlines.
It was amazing, then, that just two months later, The Herald newspaper report of on 23 April 2007, debunking the South African urban legend, repeated the German one:
Concerns over human trafficking, specifically for prostitution, before the 2010 World Cup have surfaced before, with Doctors for Life (DFL) International recently expressing their concerns over trafficking in response to (currently suspended) police commissioner Jackie Selebi‘s proposal to legalise prostitution during 2010.
“About 400 000 women and children were trafficked into Germany to accommodate the demand for sex during the world cup games. The same can be expected for South Africa,” the group said.
However, they did put this in context:
Other bodies, such as the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), have said concerns of human trafficking were being exaggerated, detracting from the bigger problem of social issues that led to people becoming involved in prostitution.
ISS senior researcher Dr Chandré Gould, who is conducting a survey of sex workers with the assistance of Sweat, said research suggested that the majority of sex workers were in the business of their own free will.
“Our research suggests that there are cases of exploitation, such as debt bondage, within the industry, but there is nothing to indicate that children are being kidnapped and then forced to sell sex,” she said.
… Gould said that although trafficking should be a concern, it was an extreme example and the focus should rather be on the larger problem of social issues, such as poverty and unemployment, which led to people turning to prostitution.
The schools reported to have circulated the warning, however, behaved in the time-honoured style of typical public responses to such warnings. Sonop Primary School principal Theo Strydom said he had sent letters out to the parents as a precaution. Susannah Fourie Primary School principal Blits Fourie said he was relieved to hear that the letter was a hoax, but that it was better to err on the side of caution.
And so say all of our cautionary tale victims.
National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo also informed the Herald that the letter was a hoax, and that it had started in the Northern Cape as early as January 2007. But he revealed one significant detail:
“The hoax letter was initially received by a police captain in Olifantshoek, who sent out a notification without verifying the information. He has since sent out a retraction, but the letter keeps on resurfacing. Not a single report of any such incident has taken place since this started circulating.”
Thus the urban legend is thoroughly debunked, but Naidoo’s admission contains the basis for the further spread of the urban legend: at one point, the warning was sent out officially by a senior police officer.
Two weeks later, on 8 May 2007, Associated Press finally reported the same facts that had formed the basis of the spike report in February, although it apparently came from a different source. As reported by the International Herald Tribune, it was headlined:
GENEVA: Only five people were confirmed as having been trafficked into Germany for forced prostitution during the soccer World Cup, a global migration group said Tuesday, adding that dire predictions of tens of thousands of victims were “unfounded and unrealistic.”
A report by the International Organization for Migration praised Germany for working with campaign groups well in advance of the June-July 2006 event to put in place the necessary measures against trafficking.
Before the World Cup, some trafficking experts warned that up to 40,000 foreign women, many from Eastern Europe, would be forced into sex work during the four-week tournament.
The European Union, the United States and the Vatican put pressure on Germany for supposedly not doing enough to stop an expected tide of sex workers arriving for the event.
“The estimate of 40,000 women expected to be trafficked was unfounded and unrealistic,” the 48-page report said.
IOM said Germany’s raids on brothels, information campaigns and coordination with non-governmental groups should serve as a model for hosts of future major sporting events, such as next year’s Olympics in Beijing or European soccer championships in Austria and Switzerland.
The migration body said, however, that more accountability was needed among rights groups and media when citing figures, so that no one could be accused of organizing a scare campaign while highlighting the serious dangers in human trafficking.
That last line could be a mantra for the battle against urban legends reported as fact. Waterfield puts it a little differently:
Here we have a tournament which millions of people around the world are enjoying, and all that various politicians, police authorities, religious groups and feminist campaigners can see, often on the basis of unsubstantiated or inflated figures, is an opportunity for degradation and abuse on a massive scale. We should show these scaremongers the red card.
Below are the few brave souls in the media who told the truth about super bowl sex trafficking:
Sex Trafficking in Sports Events links:
Dallas TV News show about super bowl sex slave myth:
Official Lies About Sex-Trafficking Exposed: It’s now clear Anti Prostitution groups used fake data to deceive the media and lie to Congress. And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding
You tube videos on the Super Bowl sex slave myth:
LONDON (TrustLaw) – A widespread belief that major sporting events fuel sex trafficking is unsubstantiated and has a negative impact on groups that campaigners purport to protect, undermining anti-trafficking objectives, a new study has said.
Activists opposed to sex work say large groups of men attending the Olympics, FIFA World Cup and U.S. Super Bowl competitions create a high demand for sex work causing large numbers of women to be trafficked, the report produced by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) said.
Yet there is no correlation between those beliefs and the actual number of trafficking cases found, the report titled “What’s the Cost of a Rumour?” said, citing such examples as the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the 2004 Olympics in Greece and several Super Bowl competitions.
“Despite increased scrutiny by the media, political figures and law enforcement, there is no evidence that large sporting events cause an increase in trafficking for prostitution,” Julie Ham, the author of the study, said at a panel discussionat the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
GAATW reviewed literature from United Nations (U.N.) agencies, government offices, academic researchers, anti-trafficking organisations, sex-workers rights organisations, non-governmental organisations and the media.
The claim sex work will increase is perpetuated in part because it is useful as a fundraising strategy, as a way to grab attention and be seen to “do something” about trafficking, and as a more socially acceptable guise for prostitution abolitionist agendas and anti-immigration agendas, the report said.
Anti-trafficking campaigns that are based on unproven claims can ultimately undermine anti-trafficking objectives, the report said.
Such claims can cause damage by resulting in increased criminal penalties and human rights violations against sex workers, by misrepresenting people and issues, through city “clean-up” efforts displacing sex workers and other marginalised groups, it said.
These anti-trafficking campaigns can also be damaging as controls on women’s movements, intended to stop trafficking, can actually lead to increased trafficking, the report added.
At least 12.3 million people around the world are trapped in forced labour, which can include debt bondage, modern slavery, trafficking and women and girls being forced into prostitution, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), a U.N. agency.
PREDICTIONS FAIL TO MATERIALISE
Before the 2010 World Cup, the South Africa Central Drug Authority (CDA) predicted that 40,000 extra trafficked sex-workers would be imported for the event, according to the study, but the South Africa Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said afterwards that there were no cases of sex trafficking during the event, according to GAATW.
A recent study undertaken by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Sex Work Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) to monitor supply and demand of female sex work around the time of the 2010 World Cup found that sex-worker demographics did not change significantly.
“Demand and supply of sex work remained constant across the World Cup period,” said the report titled “Maybe it will be better once this World Cup has passed.”
“Our data also does not support fears about an increase of children or foreign migrant sex workers into the sex industry during the World Cup period,” it said.
Ahead of the Super Bowls in Dallas, Texas (2011), Tampa, Florida (2009) and Phoenix, Arizona (2008) claims were made in the U.S. media that up to100,000 sex workers would be trafficked, but there was no evidence presented afterwards to substantiate those claims, according to the GAATW study.
However, some cases were reported. A task force led by the Texas Attorney General’s office reported 133 prostitution-related arrests before the Super Bowl in Dallas, through which one trafficking victim led authorities to her trafficker, who was later arrested and charged, according to the attorney general’s office.
2012 OLYMPICS AND SUPER BOWL CAMPAIGNS
The state of Indiana has passed new human trafficking legislation, signed by Governor Mitch Daniels into law on Monday, ahead of the 2012 Super Bowl game in Indianapolis on Sunday, due to concerns that large sporting events “tend to be magnets for criminal rings promoting prostitution”.
The legislation updates and strengthens an existing law against human trafficking, Abigail Kuzma, Indiana’s deputy attorney general and director of consumer protection told TrustLaw, adding that there has been at least one Super Bowl-related prostitution arrest so far.
“Unfortunately, we know from prosecutors across the country that there is an uptick in demand for commercial sex during these kinds of events,” Kuzma added. “I think it has a lot to do with the fact that unfortunately it’s tolerated in our society. Unfortunately, for men who are looking for a party – certain men consider commercial sex to be a part of that.”
Kuzma praised the work of the Coalition for Corporate Responsibility for Indiana and Michigan (CCRIM), whose Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) members are running an awareness campaign about the risks of child sex trafficking ahead of the Super Bowl.
The campaign is a continuation of one that began with the 2010 World Cup, according to ICCR, which has put together a working group to expand its operations against sex and labour trafficking to London ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
“We see this as a global problem that needs to be addressed collectively,” said David Schilling, ICCR director of Human Rights and Resources Programs. “Even if there were one or two victims during these events, that’s one or two too many.”
But Joanna Busza, an expert in sexual and reproductive health at LSHTM, said that as previous big sporting events had not seen a spike in sex work-related offenses, there was “no reason to think the UK will have a very different experience.”
Super Bowl-domestic violence myth persists
The myth dates back to 1993 when, like a game of telephone, anecdotal evidence became conflated into a statistical fact parroted throughout the media without confirmation. That year, The Associated Press and CBS labeled Super Bowl Sunday a “day of dread” for women across the country. Women advocates spoke of a “flood” of calls to domestic abuse hot lines and media mailings warned women “Don’t remain at home with him during the game.”
Christina Hoff Sommers, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar and equity feminist, trackedthe rumor from its inception and, along with such journalists as Washington Post reporter Ken Ringle,demonstrated that despite the hysteria, women have never been in any greater danger on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day.
Sommers explained to The Daily Caller that while such dramatizations may serve a purpose for some activists, domestic violence is too serious a problem for such exaggerations and opportunism.
“Women who are at risk for domestic violence are going to be helped by state of the art research and good information,” she said. “They are not going to be helped by hyperbole and manufactured data.”
For just those reasons, Philip W. Cook, an investigative journalist affiliated with Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), told TheDC that domestic violence is a topic that often requires a great deal of fact-checking.
“There are more myths, misinformation and half truths about [domestic violence] than any other significant social issue,” Cook said. “So this is simply part and parcel of a tremendous amount of myths, misinformation and half truths that get accepted without critical journalistic thinking and inquiry.”
Propagation of such fallacies such as the “Super Bowl hoax” helps perpetuate negative stereotypes, said Sommers.
“If you look at these myths they almost all promote this idea that women are victims and men are brutes. The ‘Super Bowl hoax,’ for example, depicts the average guy sitting in his couch watching the Super Bowl as a violent predator and I think this promotes prejudice,” Sommers said. “This view has been popular among hard line gender activists who want to depict masculinity as pathological.”
One of Cook’s concerns has been the manner in which false data inform policy makers and the harm it can cause for real victims.
“[The myths] translate into public policy that directly affects people’s lives,” Cook said, pointing to ineffectual programs and agencies. “When it comes to domestic violence policy, there is more misinformation out there and in particular the media tends to accept it without any scrutiny.”
While some may view America as a patriarchal nightmare, by comparison to much of the rest of the world, it is an oasis of gender equality. According to Sommers, such falsehoods work to harm America’s reputation.
“These false claims about violence make our society look dangerous for women, when in fact American society…is a place where women have achieved great success stories for feminism,” said Sommers. “In Pakistan and Iran they will defend their societies by saying women are imperiled in the West, that …women are beaten — especially Super Bowl Sunday! — there can be no distinction between women who are free and are oppressed.”
Research report on sorting out the myths and facts about sex trafficking at sporting events: http://www.gaatw.org/publications/WhatstheCostofaRumour.11.15.2011.pdf