With Super Bowl LIV being held in South Florida in February, two congressional representatives from the area are looking to highlight how events like it lead to an increase in human trafficking.
On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., who both sit on the U.S. House Rules Committee, will lead the U.S. House Legislative and Budget Process Subcommittee hearing on human trafficking dubbed “Solving an Epidemic: Addressing human trafficking around major events like the Super Bowl and the need for cross-jurisdictional solutions.” Hastings is the chairman of the subcommittee.
The hearing “will focus on the complexities of combating human trafficking, ways the federal government is assisting local law enforcement, and the additional resources needed to increase prevention.”
Hastings weighed in on why the subcommittee was tackling the issue.
“Sadly, human trafficking affects communities all across our nation, but the Super Bowl is a day that could help shine a light on something that persists largely in the shadows,” Hastings said last week. “The United States has one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the world and it only increases in local communities that are home to major events and heavy tourism. I am painfully aware that my home state of Florida is not alone in facing this epidemic, which is why I have introduced several bills to address this urgent issue, including H.R.4388, a bipartisan bill to prevent youth human trafficking and exploitation, which would provide prevention training in our high-need school communities.
“As preparations for Super Bowl LIV continue in Miami, I welcome my esteemed colleague, Congresswoman Donna Shalala’s leadership on this important hearing, which will examine how the federal government can better fight this heinous form of modern-day slavery,” said Hastings.
“I want to thank Chairman Hastings for the opportunity to lead this hearing. Human trafficking is a challenge that countless communities across America – including my own – are struggling with every day,” said Shalala. “Congress has the power to provide real solutions to this problem, but we need to understand how to best address the challenges that human trafficking presents. I look forward to hearing the testimony of our expert witnesses so my staff and I may be better equipped to craft policy to effectively curb this terrible practice.”
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