A Problem 365 Days A Year



A narrative has emerged over the last several years that women and girls are being forced into commercial sex at the Super Bowl in unprecedented numbers.  The idea has recently received an increase in media attention again this year.  However, there is not a lot of evidence linking the Super Bowl to such a significant rise in sex trafficking.

Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry where perpetrators profit from the control and exploitation of others. While it can be found during the Super Bowl, it can also be found at motorcycle rallies in South Dakota, in the fields of Florida, in gangs in California, and in brothels in Washington, D.C. It’s modern slavery, and it affects every corner of the country.


  • Vulnerable people are trafficked in the sex trade and labor industry every day in America.
  • In 2013, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline received multiple reports of human trafficking cases in all 50 states and D.C. Read more 2013 hotline statistics here.
  • More than 14,000 total cases of human trafficking have been reported to the NHTRC hotline in the last six years. The hotline receives an average of 100 calls per day. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Read Human Trafficking Trends in the United States.
  • The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. 5.5 million of those are children. 14.2 million of those are victims of labor exploitation.
  • In 2005, the International Labor Organization estimated that forced labor generates $32 billion in profits worldwide.
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that there are 100,000 youths under the age of 18 in the commercial sex trade in the U.S.  In 2012, 1 out of 8 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims.
  • Although there may be a modest uptick of trafficking associated with the Super Bowl and other large sporting events, this is a crime that demands attention, vigilance, and resources to fight it in our communities 365 days a year.


Polaris Project thanks Clear Channel Outdoor and Getty Images for supporting this public awareness campaign on the full scope and scale of human trafficking. Read the press release about our billboards in New York and New Jersey.


Photos are for illustrative purposes only, they do not depict trafficking survivors.

Photo credit: Andrea Speer/Imagebroker/Getty Images and Daniel Bendjy/E+/Getty Images


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