International Sporting Events and Human Trafficking: Effects of Mega-Events on a State’s Capacity to Address Human Trafficking

By: Zack Bowerbox

International Sporting Events and Human Trafficking: Effects of
Mega-Events on a State’s Capacity to Address Human Trafficking

Department of Political Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA

JOURNAL OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING =, 2016, VOL. 2, NO. 3, 201–220 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23322705.2015.1131584

Recent literature has suggested that a state’s being awarded the title of host for the Olympics or FIFA’s World Cup can increase bilateral trade flows (Rose & Spiegel, 2011) and their political status (Rhamey & Early, 2013). Another potential side effect of these large-scale events is the increase in sex tourism
and human trafficking. The influx of visitors to a host state is thought to increase demand on the local sex industry. Similarly, the need to build new stadia and infrastructure arguably increases the likelihood that trafficked labor will be utilized. This article examines the record of host states in addressing human trafficking as compared to a global sample. The findings suggest that international sporting event hosts (FIFA World Cup and Olympics) are positively affected by these events when it comes to prosecuting human traffickers, but Olympic states are negatively affected in the dimension of trafficking prevention. This suggests that the Olympics produce varying demands on a state that can increase the demand for trafficked individuals

Bowersox-2016-Sporting-Events-and-Human-Traffickingpdf