It’s a Penalty campaign raises awareness of child sexual exploitation during the Super Bowl LIII

Since 2014 the global campaign It’s a Penalty has been run during major sporting events to bring attention to this issue and increase reporting of suspected cases including the 2014 Football World Cup, the Rio 2016 Olympic & Paralympics Games in Brazil, the 2018 Super Bowl LII Minneapolis, the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

It’s a Penalty, a global campaign set up to fight human trafficking and exploitation has again this year launched efforts to create awareness during the 2019 Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

This year’s theme was to ‘Learn Something, See Something, Do Something’ and stand up against human trafficking. When the travel and tourism industry as well as the general public has the tools and awareness to report suspected cases it has the potential to save lives.

The It’s a Penalty objectives:

  • Educate the general public about the issue, penalties for offenders, as well as to #knowthesigns of exploitation and trafficking.
  • Encourage people to ‘see something, learn something, do something’
  • Equip the general public with local and global mechanisms to make a report

The campaign was supported by high profile NFL players as well as the video campaign shown on airlines including British Airways and members of The Code American Airlines with the potential to reach 39.2 million people worldwide.

Members of The Code Hilton Hotels in Atlanta trained their staff to spot human trafficking. Forty hotels showed the Its a Penalty film in their rooms and distributed campaign materials to guests.

Volunteers distrusted campaign wristbands with the Polaris hotline together with the volunteers from SOAP on 26th and 27th January to 400 hotels, gas stations, truck shops, 24 hour restaurants.

8000 Uber, also members of The Code and Lyft taxi drivers in the city were trained to identify and report exploitation and trafficking, and 2500 taxis had It’s a Penalty’s materials displayed within them.

The IAP film was shown to 10,000 Super Bowl volunteers as part of their training.

In 2018 the campaign reached 2.7 million people and the thirty second 2018 campaign film reached a potential 52 million passengers, which was shown for three months on British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, American Airlines and Virgin Australia.

Recently released data from the FBI showed that 169 individuals were arrested for human trafficking including 34 for attempted offences against children in the lead up to the 2019 Super Bowl.

More than 25 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and district attorneys’ offices, along with seven non-government organizations, participated in the operation.

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