I just received an email this week from Michelle Miller from REED (Resist Exploitation Embrace Dignity), who ran the Sex is Not a Sport campaign at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The results are in – demand for paid sex and sex entertainment went up, and at one point ten different women were offered directly for sale on Craigslist by an anonymous person. There was a rise in the use of escort services and attendance at sex clubs, and the team raising awareness about human trafficking got spit on, shoved, grabbed, and insulted. Welcome to the Olympics. Great job to those who poured their time and effort into decreasing demand at the Olympics – your work is so valuable and necessary.
Research has shown that big sporting events spike levels of trafficking. It is simply a matter of economics. Where there is demand there is supply. Guys are way more willing to go to strip clubs and pay for sex when they are away from home. It is the whole “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” mentality. Sure, there are some women who take advantage of the masses and willingly sell their bodies. But what about the rest?
This all makes me think ahead to the London 2012 Olympics and what must be done to prevent trafficking there. London is already key destination and transit country for victims of sex trafficking, and I can only imagine how many girls will be brought in to service demand. Any ideas on how we can stop this from happening?