Anti-human trafficking campaign uses Super Bowl to shed light on year-round problem

Since 2014, the campaign ‘It’s a Penalty’ has been working to prevent abuse, exploitation and human trafficking, focusing around the Super Bowl.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:08 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:49 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — See something, say something. While we hear this all the time, it’s not always easy to spot the warning signs for human trafficking. There’s a new push to train people in the hospitality and tourism industry ahead of the super bowl coming to town.

Since 2014, the campaign ‘It’s a Penalty’ has been working to prevent abuse, exploitation and human trafficking, focusing around the Super Bowl. “The last campaign we ran during a Super Bowl in LA last year here in the U.S., there were 14 children rescued within the hotels and motels,” Sarah de Carvalho, CEO of It’s a Penalty, said.

Hotels and airlines say for a number of years, they’ve been doing their part. Rose Walz, Director of Human Resources at Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, says that at all Hilton properties, they train employees on anti-human trafficking every year. “We spend a lot of time making sure they understand the signs, what to look for, how to report that,” she said.

Southwest Airlines says they’ve also made it their mission to have resources for their employees and customers. “We recently put placards in every single lavatory onboard our aircraft and it’s a great way to give customers awareness of the issue , so if they see something they have a hotline to calla and it makes victims aware that we’re trained, we understand the issue and we’re here to support you,” said Kelly Knox Sr., Community Outreach Regional Manager, Southwest Airlines.

Officials say they want people to be aware of the threat ahead of the big game in February, but they also have a message for any traffickers. “After the Super Bowl, those staff members are still educated on human trafficking,” said de Carvalho.

Hotlines

Victim Resources

Teens can text the word “Safe” and their location to 69866. People can also reach out to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 Or text HELP to: BeFree 233733.