Keeping Sex Trafficking Out of the Super Bowl
Picking up from efforts to stem sex trafficking at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, 11 women's religious orders from Indiana and Michigan are working to stop sex trafficking at this year's Super Bowl. The orders are members of the Coalition for Corporate Responsibility for Indiana and Michigan, established in the early 1990s. The coalition is a member of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, which spearheaded the anti-sex trafficking efforts two years ago in South Africa. The nuns aren't always the biggest football fans, but they've picked up some of the terminology. When ICCR's human trafficking working group mentioned during its meeting last June that Super Bowl XLVI would be held in Indianapolis, "we picked up the ball and ran with it," said Sister Ann Oestreich, an Immaculate Heart of Mary sister who ministers as justice coordinator for the Sisters of the Holy Cross in South Bend., Ind., and is the two-state coalition's justice co-chair. "In CCRIM, we had done a process in terms of picking one issue that was important to all of our members. Prior to the Super Bowl, the issue of human trafficking came up," Sister Ann told Catholic News Service during a Jan. 12 telephone interview from South Bend. "It's such a broad issue. How do we get at it as investors, as socially responsible investors? So we decided to take a look at the hospitality industry and purchasing stock in their companies so we could get into a conversation with the hotels." Coalition representatives contacted the federal Department of Health and Human Services for assistance. "We asked for printed copies of brochures on their website, and H.H.S. was kind enough, when they heard what we were doing, to provide 2,000 printed copies of those brochures."